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Adjuvant intravesical chemohyperthermia versus passive chemotherapy in patients with intermediate-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (HIVEC-II): A phase 2, open-label, randomised controlled trial


Adjuvant intravesical chemotherapy following tumour resection is recommended for intermediate-risk non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).


To assess the efficacy and safety of adjuvant intravesical chemohyperthermia (CHT) for intermediate-risk NMIBC.

Design, setting, and participants

HIVEC-II is an open-label, phase 2 randomised controlled trial of CHT versus chemotherapy alone in patients with intermediate-risk NMIBC recruited at 15 centres between May 2014 and December 2017 (ISRCTN 23639415). Randomisation was stratified by treating hospital.


Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to adjuvant CHT with mitomycin C at 43°C or to room-temperature mitomycin C (control). Both treatment arms received six weekly instillations of 40 mg of mitomycin C lasting for 60 min.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

The primary endpoint was 24-mo disease-free survival as determined via cystoscopy and urinary cytology. Analysis was by intention to treat.


A total of 259 patients (131 CHT vs 128 control) were randomised. At 24 mo, 42 patients (32%) in the CHT group and 49 (38%) in the control group had experienced recurrence. Disease-free survival at 24 mo was 61% (95% confidence interval [CI] 51–69%) in the CHT arm and 60% (95% CI 50–68%) in the control arm (hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% CI 0.62–1.37; log-rank p = 0.8). Progression-free survival was higher in the control arm (HR 3.44, 95% CI 1.09–10.82; log-rank p = 0.02) on intention-to-treat analysis but was not significantly higher on per-protocol analysis (HR 2.87, 95% CI 0.83–9.98; log-rank p = 0.06). Overall survival was similar (HR 2.55, 95% CI 0.77–8.40; log-rank p = 0.09). Patients undergoing CHT were less likely to complete their treatment (n =75, 59% vs n = 111, 89%). Adverse events were reported by 164 patients (87 CHT vs 77 control). Major (grade III) adverse events were rare (13 CHT vs 7 control).


CHT cannot be recommended over chemotherapy alone for intermediate-risk NMIBC. Adverse events following CHT were of low grade and short-lived, although patients were less likely to complete their treatment.