Background and purpose: To assess the safety and effectiveness of treating high-risk T1 and T2 bladder cancer with transurethral resection (TUR-BT) followed by radiochemotherapy (RCT) combined with regional deep hyperthermia (RHT).
Material and methods: Between 2003 and 2007, 45 patients were enrolled. After TUR-BT patients received radiotherapy (RT) of the bladder and regional lymph nodes with 50.4 Gy, and a boost to the bladder of 5.4-9 Gy. RCT was applied to 43/45 patients. RHT was administered once weekly. Response was re-evaluated 6 weeks after RT by restaging-TUR. Toxicity was graded with the CTCAE, version 3.0. QoL was evaluated by a dedicated questionnaire.
Results: The median follow-up was 34 months (range 12-60). The median number of hyperthermia treatments was 5 (range 1-7). Acute toxicity grades 3 and 4 occurred in 20% (9/45) and 9% (4/45), respectively. Late toxicity grades 3/4 were seen in 24% (11/45). Complete response rate was 96% (43/45). Local recurrence-free survival was 85%, overall survival was 80%, disease-specific survival was 88%, metastasis-free survival was 89%, and the bladder-preserving rate was 96% (43/45) at 3 years. Eighty percent (24/30) were at least mostly satisfied with their bladder function.
Conclusions: The quadrimodal treatment was feasible and well tolerated. Local control and bladder-preserving rates were encouraging.