Administration of Mycobacterium phlei cell wall-nucleic acid complex in the immediate postoperative period for the treatment of nonmuscle- invasive bladder cancer

Álvaro Morales


Introduction: This review sought to investigate the safety of intravesical administration of Mycobacterium phlei cell wall-nucleic acid (MCNA) in the immediate postoperative period after biopsy/ resection for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Methods: Patients with NMIBC who failed bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy and at high risk of recurrence and progression participated in this study. Treatment involved an induction phase of six weeks and maintenance of three weekly instillations every six months for two years. Biopsies were mandatory at six months and resections/biopsies as indicated. Of the 129 patients enrolled, 18 (14%) received one or more instillations of MCNA within 24 hours of an endoscopic procedure for a total of 32 instillations.

Results: Fourteen patients (78%) received MCNA in the immediate postoperative period. Two (11%) received treatment the day after surgery, but a second treatment immediately after a transurethral resection of the bladder tumour (TURBT). The remaining two patients received an instillation each the day after surgery. Adverse events (AEs) occurred in 31.3% of those treated immediately after the procedure; they were mild, limited to the lower urinary tract, and not drug-related. Only one patient experienced systemic symptoms of moderate severity. None of the AEs resulted in postponement of treatment. There were no AEs among those receiving MCNA the day after surgery.

Conclusions: The dual mechanism of action of MCNA suggests that early treatment would take advantage of its chemotherapeutic (pro-apoptotic) activity. Concerns about early administration due to the presence of live bacteria are circumvented with this sterile preparation. These preliminary results warrant further investigation to confirm the safety of perioperative administration of MCNA.

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