How is Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) solution administered for immunotherapy to treat bladder cancer?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019
  • Author: Gary David Steinberg, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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The BCG solution should be used within 2-3 hours. It is instilled into the bladder via a small catheter by gravity or a slow drip (not forced into the bladder).

The solution should be retained for 1.5-2 hours, after which time the patient voids. The patient is encouraged to move positions every 30-45 minutes to allow the BCG solution to contact all portions of the bladder lumen. If the patient’s bladder ordinarily retains more than 60 mL of urine, the bladder may need to be drained after the BCG solution is retained for 2 hours.

Patients do not have to remain in the office during the retention time. Patients should not be given antibiotics at the time of the instillation. These medications can kill the live organisms and negate the effect of the treatment.

The patient should wash out the toilet with bleach following the next 3 urinations to avoid exposing other family members to the vaccine.

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