Purpose: To compare long-term survival in patients with locally advanced or metastatic transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urothelium treated with gemcitabine/cisplatin (GC) or methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicin/cisplatin (MVAC).
Patients and methods: Efficacy data from a large randomized phase III study of GC versus MVAC were updated. Time-to-event analyses were performed on the observed distributions of overall and progression-free survival.
Results: A total of 405 patients were randomly assigned: 203 to the GC arm and 202 to the MVAC arm. At the time of analysis, 347 patients had died (GC arm, 176 patients; MVAC arm, 171 patients). Overall survival was similar in both arms (hazard ratio [HR], 1.09; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.34; P = .66) with a median survival of 14.0 months for GC and 15.2 months for MVAC. The 5-year overall survival rates were 13.0% and 15.3%, respectively (P = .53). The median progression-free survival was 7.7 months for GC and 8.3 months for MVAC, with an HR of 1.09. The 5-year progression-free survival rates were 9.8% and 11.3%, respectively (P = .63). Significant prognostic factors favoring overall survival included performance score (> 70), TNM staging (M0 v M1), low/normal alkaline phosphatase level, number of disease sites (<or= three), and the absence of visceral metastases. By adjusting for these prognostic factors, the HR was 0.99 for overall survival and 1.01 for progression-free survival. The 5-year overall survival rates for patients with and without visceral metastases were 6.8% and 20.9%, respectively.
Conclusion: Long-term overall and progression-free survival after treatment with GC or MVAC are similar. These results strengthen the role of GC as a standard of care in patients with locally advanced or metastatic TCC.