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BCG + Interferon

10 years 11 months ago #25424 by balihigh
I strongly agree with Pat. I would get a second opinion. I had 15 treatments of BCG + interferon but ended up with a radical cystectomy. I did not have bad side effects with the combo but maybe that is why it didn't work for me. I have heard some people say that the side effects tell you it is working.

Many doctors are becoming more aggressive with their surgery, doing it earlier. I fall into that category but am glad the cancer is gone and that I did not need chemo before or after surgery. Bladder cancer needs to be treated by a doctor that sees it on a daily basis. Regular urologists often do not have the experience needed to deal with this cancer. I would find a facility near you that is known for treating bladder cancer. There are people on this site that have knowledge of doctors and facilities. They can help you.

female 60
1/08 dx 4 tumors TURB
T1 G3
12 BCG + interferon
5/08 another tumor/TURB
9/08 RC illieal conduit

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10 years 11 months ago #25423 by Moonerj
Hi Peggy

I was dx with superficial bladder cancer in January 2006.
I have had 3 Turbts and 30 BCG treatments.

The BCG consisted of 3 sessions of 6 weekly treatments, then once I had a clear Cysto, I began 12 maintenance treatments.

I have now been cancer free for 16 months or 5 Cystos.

The BCG did have progressive side effects for me. But I got through them, and as long as I stay cancer free, I am finished with BCG.
Everyone reacts differently to BCG. I still have Cystos every 3 months, but if I stay clear until the end of this year, I will be moved to 6 month Cystos for 3 years.

I agree with Patrica, in that you should get copies of your pathology reports, which will give the stage and grade of your tumors. My reports were TA Grade 1.
Which means non-invasive(superficial) low grade.

Also although I have a top Uro, I still got a 2nd opinion from annother Uro, which I highly recommend you do.

Please free to email me here or call me anytime 905-691-6500.
I wish you all the best,

TA Grade 1
3 Turbts
30 BCG Treatments
Cancer Free since Nov 2007

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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #25422 by Peggy R
Hi, Pat. If I may ask, who do you work for?

I believe they did do pathology on the larger tumor. When the doctor called me, he said it was the same type of superficial bladder cancer I had to begin with.

I live in Iowa.

Thank you for the paper by Dr. Lamm. I sure do run across a lot of comments about him, and it seems people think highly of him.


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10 years 11 months ago #25420 by Patricia
Peggy...did your doctor do a re-TURB in March after discovering all those new tumors? You really need pathology on those.
Maybe its time for a second opinion? If you tell us where you are we'll help you find someone thats very experienced with bladder cancer.
Here's a paper written by Dr. Lamm about BCG and its indications

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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #25419 by Peggy R
I am 62 years old, and was diagnosed with superficial bladder cancer in January of 2007. I had 6 weeks of Mitomycin treatments last summer. In September my cysto showed everything was okay. Was supposed to return in December. However, with terrible winter storms interfering and my Doctor cancelling, I didn't return for a checkup until March. At that time I had more tumors than ever before. Doc is now suggesting I have weekly treatments of BCG + Inteferon for 6 weeks. He mentioned nothing about maintenance treatments, which bothers me.

Well, my husband and I get on the Internet, look up the treatments, and discover that once you begin those treatments, it continues forever. We also find that many people have big problems completing the course because of side effects.

I sure could use some feedback from people who have had these treatments as to how much trouble they've had, how long they've been receiving them, and whether they feel they were all worth it. I wonder what the percentage of people is who have been through all these treatments, but end up having to have the bladder removed!

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