(HealthDay News) — For patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), gemcitabine and docetaxel therapy is associated with less high-grade disease recurrence, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

Ian M. McElree, from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues compared outcomes of patients with high-risk NMIBC treated with gemcitabine and docetaxel versus bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Data were included for 312 patients with high-risk treatment-naive NMIBC: 174 and 138 treated with BCG therapy and with gemcitabine and docetaxel therapy, respectively.

The researchers found that the high-grade recurrence-free survival (RFS) estimates were 76, 71, and 69 percent, respectively, at six, 12, and 24 months in the BCG group and 92, 85, and 81 percent, respectively, in the gemcitabine and docetaxel group. Treatment with gemcitabine and docetaxel was associated with better high-grade RFS and RFS than BCG in analyses controlling for age, sex, treatment year, and presence of carcinoma in situ (hazard ratios, 0.57 and 0.56, respectively). Greater treatment discontinuation was seen for induction therapy for BCG versus induction therapy for gemcitabine and docetaxel (9.2 versus 2.9 percent).

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“The findings of this study support the use of gemcitabine and docetaxel for the treatment of high-risk NMIBC, suggesting that this regimen can be considered for recommendation in updated practice guidelines,” the authors write. “Further prospective evaluation is needed.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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