Relative efficacy of perioperative gemcitabine and cisplatin versus methotrexate, vinblastine, adriamycin, and cisplatin in the management of locally advanced urothelial carcinoma of the bladder

Urology. 2012 Feb;79(2):384-90. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.10.050. Epub 2011 Dec 22.


Objective: To compare the outcomes of patients treated in the perioperative setting with methotrexate, vinblastine, adriamycin, and cisplatin (MVAC) versus gemcitabine and cisplatin (GC). Systemic cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens are the mainstay of treatment for patients with advanced bladder cancer. GC has often been used interchangeably with MVAC in neoadjuvant or adjuvant settings for patients with locally advanced (cT2N0M0-cT4N2M0) bladder cancer without adequate evidence.

Methods: A total of 114 patients treated with systemic chemotherapy for Stage T2-T4N0-N2M0 urothelial cell carcinoma of the bladder were included in the present study. The survival times were estimated and compared using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test, respectively. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the statistical significance.

Results: Of the 114 patients included in the present study, 37 (32%) were treated with GC and 77 (68%) with MVAC. In the neoadjuvant group, no difference was found between the 2 chemotherapeutic regimens in terms of the pathologic complete response rate at either cystectomy or during cystoscopy (14 [31%] of 45 MVAC patients vs 4 [25%] of 16 GC patients; P=.645). On multivariate analysis, the choice of regimen was not an independent predictor of cancer-specific death (hazard ratio 1.3, 95% confidence interval 0.67-2.57; P=.421) or overall survival (hazard ratio 1.3, 95% confidence interval 0.76-2.24; P=.330).

Conclusion: Despite the lack of data on the relative efficacy of GC versus MVAC in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings, these regimens have been used interchangeably. The present investigation did not find the choice of cisplatin-based regimen to be an independent predictor of survival. A trend was seen toward improved survival and a greater complete response rate in the MVAC group.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cystectomy
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vinblastine / administration & dosage


  • Deoxycytidine
  • Vinblastine
  • Doxorubicin
  • gemcitabine
  • Cisplatin
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • M-VAC protocol