How often is Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy administered for the treatment of bladder cancer?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019
  • Author: Gary David Steinberg, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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To a BCG reaction, multiple instillations of BCG are required. Typically, 6 weekly instillations constitute the induction phase, although some patients respond with fewer instillations and some require more. Each patient's response should be assessed each time the patient comes for an instillation.

The induction phase is considered complete when the immunologic reaction has occurred. This is evident when the patient has irritative bladder symptoms, the urine contains WBCs without evidence of infection, and microscopic hematuria is present. Once the patient has been induced or vaccinated, this phase of therapy has been completed.

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