Background: Management of T1 grade 3 (T1G3) urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB), with its variable behaviour, represents one of the most difficult challenges for urologists and patients alike.
Objective: To evaluate the characteristics and long-term outcome of patients with clinical T1G3 UCB treated with radical cystectomy (RC).
Design, setting, and participants: Data from 1136 patients treated with RC for clinical T1G3 UCB without neoadjuvant chemotherapy were collected at 12 centres located in Europe, the United States, and Canada. Median age was 67 yr (range: 29-94), with a male-to-female ratio of 4:1.
Measurements: Patients' characteristics and outcome are evaluated.
Results and limitations: Of the 1136 patients, 33.4% had non-organ-confined stage at cystectomy, and 16.2% had lymph node (LN) metastasis; 49.7% were upstaged after RC to muscle-invasive disease, while 21.4% were downstaged to lower than T1G3. Within a median follow-up of 48 mo, 35.5% of patients died of metastatic UCB.
Conclusions: Approximately half of the patients treated with RC without neoadjuvant chemotherapy for clinical T1G3 UCB are upstaged to muscle-invasive UCB. These rates support the inadequacy of clinical decision making based on current treatment paradigms and staging tools. Therefore, identification of patients with clinical T1G3 disease at high risk of disease progression is of the utmost importance, as these patients are likely to benefit from early RC.
Copyright 2009 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.