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BCG and immune system in general

1 year 2 months ago #56252 by sara.anne
Hello, Diana. Sorry to hear about your husband's issues.

I see that Alan has responded to your other post, so some of what I say may be a bit of the same. First, a TURB
is NOT done to cure bladder cancer, but rather to diagnose it. Any visible tumors are, of course, removed. But the primary reason is to remove enough of the tumors and surrounding tissue to determine if the cancer is still localized in the bladder or if it has spread into the bladder lining or muscle. The results will help to determine the type of treatment needed. Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is not like other tumors in that it is more like a rash over the bladder lining and it cannot be removed by TURB.


BCG is currently the treatment of choice for non-invasive CIS (and high grade papillary tumors.) I have seen effectiveness estimates for CIS ranging from 50 to 70%. Here is one summary

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1950803-overview

There are other inravesical treatments for CIS, usually used when BCG cannot be tolerated, but they are not as effective.

My case was not exactly like your husband's since I did not have the complications of having it in the kidney/ureter.
It appears that his case is much more involved. I hope that you have found a really good comprehensive center that specializes in complicated cases.

Wishing you both all the best

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
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1 year 2 months ago - 1 year 2 months ago #56249 by DianaPB
Hello Sara,

My husband had TCC flat CIS in HG Kidney (T2) and Ureter (T3) 7/2018 and tried chemo but failed; both removed 11/6/2018. In cystoscopy, Dr found new HG flat non invasive CIS in bladder, which apparently developed during chemo 4 months period.

It seems his situation is similar to your previous one, any advice you you may have? Such as what the percentage of people respond to BCG, and if TURBT to remove cancer cells is good for flat non invasive CIS.

Thanks,

Diana

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1 year 9 months ago #55026 by sara.anne
The best theory about how BCG works is that it stimulates the immune system in the bladder lining, helping it to reject the cancerous cells. Since the BCG is instilled directly into the bladder in a small amount it is unlikely that it would have a major stimulating effect on the entire body.
That being said, systemic side effects do build up as more treatments occur. However, it is highly doubtful that any of these effects are enough to affect such things as cold and flu.

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Forum Moderator
The following user(s) said Thank You: Joanne2, Eight15

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1 year 9 months ago #55025 by Eight15
Just wondering... I've read on this forum that BCG revs up the immune system. Would that mean that while being treated with BCG the immune system would fight off other things better, like colds, flu or other illnesses in general? Or is it the opposite and it's focused on the bladder and you would more easily catch things such as colds?

Does anyone know how this works?

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