Proton beam therapy for invasive bladder cancer: a prospective study of bladder-preserving therapy with combined radiotherapy and intra-arterial chemotherapy

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Apr 1;64(5):1371-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2005.10.023.


Purpose: To present outcomes of bladder-preserving therapy with proton beam irradiation in patients with invasive bladder cancer.

Methods and materials: Twenty-five patients with transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder, cT2-3N0M0, underwent transurethral resection of bladder tumor(s), followed by pelvic X-ray irradiation combined with intra-arterial chemotherapy with methotrexate and cisplatin. Upon completion of these treatments, patients were evaluated by transurethral resection biopsy. Patients with no residual tumor received proton irradiation boost to the primary sites, whereas patients demonstrating residual tumors underwent radical cystectomy.

Results: Of 25 patients, 23 (92%) were free of residual tumor at the time of re-evaluation; consequently, proton beam therapy was applied. The remaining 2 patients presenting with residual tumors underwent radical cystectomy. Of the 23 patients treated with proton beam therapy, 9 experienced recurrence at the median follow-up time of 4.8 years: local recurrences and distant metastases in 6 and 2 patients, respectively, and both situations in 1. The 5-year overall, disease-free, and cause-specific survival rates were 60%, 50%, and 80%, respectively. The 5-year local control and bladder-preservation rates were 73% and 96%, respectively, in the patients treated with proton beam therapy. Therapy-related toxicities of Grade 3-4 were observed in 9 patients: hematologic toxicities in 6, pulmonary thrombosis in 1, and hemorrhagic cystitis in 2.

Conclusions: The present bladder-preserving regimen for invasive bladder cancer was feasible and effective. Proton beam therapy might improve local control and facilitate bladder preservation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / surgery
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Cystectomy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proton Therapy
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / surgery
  • Urinary Bladder* / pathology
  • Vinblastine / administration & dosage
  • Vinblastine / adverse effects


  • Vinblastine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cisplatin
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • M-VAC protocol