Bladder Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Impact of COVID-19 on Cystoscopic Surveillance for Non–Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2021

Research presented in The International Journal of Clinical Practice found that delays in follow-up treatment for non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an increased risk of disease recurrence and progression. Depending on their level of disease risk, patients are expected to undergo regular cystoscopic surveillance following transurethral resection of the bladder tumor.

“As a consequence of these findings, we suggest that cystoscopic surveillance for non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer should be done in as timely a manner as possible according to the relevant guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic,” concluded Asif Yildirim, MD, of Istanbul Medeniyet University, Turkey, and colleagues.

The study included 407 patients who underwent follow-up cystoscopic surveillance at 4 treatment centers once COVID-19–related restrictions were lifted in their areas. Disease recurrence was observed in 105 patients (25.8%); 20 (5.1%) also experienced disease progression. A delay of 2 to 5 months in receiving follow-up treatment increased the likelihood of disease recurrence by 2.4-fold. A delay of more than 3 months increased the likelihood of disease progression by 6.7-fold.

The risk factors for tumor recurrence included the number of recurrences (P < .001) and the length of the cystoscopy delay (62–147 days, P = .002; > 147 days, P < .001). Both the number of recurrences (P = .24) and the time delay in cystoscopy (P = .002) were also risk factors for disease progression.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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