Background: To the authors' knowledge, the long term follow-up of patients with carcinoma in situ of the urinary bladder is limited.
Methods: The authors studied 138 patients diagnosed with urothelial carcinoma in situ of the bladder at the Mayo Clinic between 1972-1979. All the histologic slides were reviewed and fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for carcinoma in situ according to the newly proposed World Health Organization and International Society of Urologic Pathology classification system. None of these patients had previous or coexisting invasive urothelial carcinoma at the time of diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the prognostic significance of numerous clinical and pathologic findings using progression free, cancer specific, and all-cause survival as the endpoints for analysis. Progression was defined as the development of invasive carcinoma, distant metastases, or death from bladder carcinoma.
Results: The patients ages at the time of diagnosis ranged from 32-90 years (mean, 65.6 years). The male to female ratio was 7:1. Carcinoma in situ usually was multifocal (50%) with a predilection for the trigone, lateral wall, and dome. The mean follow-up after surgery was 11.0 years (range, 0.7-25 years). Actuarial progression free, cancer specific, and all-cause survival rates were 63%, 79%, and 55%, respectively, at 10 years, and 59%, 74%, and 40%, respectively, at 15 years. The mean interval from the time of diagnosis to cancer progression was 5 years. Patient age at diagnosis was significant in predicting progression free (P = 0.01) and all-cause survival (P = 0.002). Cystectomy performed within 3 months after the initial diagnosis was associated with improved all-cause survival (P = 0.03). After controlling for age, there was no difference in survival between patients who received immediate cystectomy and those did not (P = 0.16).
Conclusions: Patients with carcinoma in situ of the bladder are at significant risk of cancer progression and death from bladder carcinoma. Cystectomy does not appear to offer a significant survival advantage in patients with carcinoma in situ of the bladder after adjusting for age.