Background: Whether organ-conserving treatment by combined-modality therapy (CMT) achieves comparable long-term survival to radical cystectomy (RC) for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BCa) is largely unknown.
Objective: Report long-term outcomes of patients with muscle-invasive BCa treated by CMT.
Design, setting, and participants: We conducted an analysis of successive prospective protocols at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) treating 348 patients with cT2-4a disease between 1986 and 2006. Median follow-up for surviving patients was 7.7 yr.
Interventions: Patients underwent concurrent cisplatin-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy (RT) after maximal transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) plus neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Repeat biopsy was performed after 40 Gy, with initial tumor response guiding subsequent therapy. Those patients showing complete response (CR) received boost chemotherapy and RT. One hundred two patients (29%) underwent RC-60 for less than CR and 42 for recurrent invasive tumors.
Measurements: Disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results and limitations: Seventy-two percent of patients (78% with stage T2) had CR to induction therapy. Five-, 10-, and 15-yr DSS rates were 64%, 59%, and 57% (T2=74%, 67%, and 63%; T3-4=53%, 49%, and 49%), respectively. Five-, 10-, and 15-yr OS rates were 52%, 35%, and 22% (T2: 61%, 43%, and 28%; T3-4=41%, 27%, and 16%), respectively. Among patients showing CR, 10-yr rates of noninvasive, invasive, pelvic, and distant recurrences were 29%, 16%, 11%, and 32%, respectively. Among patients undergoing visibly complete TURBT, only 22% required cystectomy (vs 42% with incomplete TURBT; log-rank p<0.001). In multivariate analyses, clinical T-stage and CR were significantly associated with improved DSS and OS. Use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy did not improve outcomes. No patient required cystectomy for treatment-related toxicity.
Conclusions: CMT achieves a CR and preserves the native bladder in >70% of patients while offering long-term survival rates comparable to contemporary cystectomy series. These results support modern bladder-sparing therapy as a proven alternative for selected patients.
Copyright Â© 2011 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.