Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine/cisplatin vs. methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicin/cisplatin for muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder: a retrospective analysis from the University of Southern California

Urol Oncol. 2013 Nov;31(8):1737-43. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2012.07.005. Epub 2012 Nov 7.


Objectives: We evaluated pathologic and survival outcomes of GC (gemcitabine/cisplatin) and methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicin/cisplatin (M-VAC) neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).

Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data on 116 patients who received NAC (GC: n = 58; M-VAC: n = 58) before radical cystectomy and superextended pelvic lymph node dissection for clinical stage T2-4N0M0 bladder cancer was performed. The outcomes were complete response rate (CRR; pT0N0), partial response rate (PRR; pT0N0, pTaN0, pT1N0, or pTisN0), overall mortality (OM), and recurrence. The Kaplan-Meier method and multivariable Cox regression analysis were used to analyze OM. The cumulative incidence method and Fine and Gray's competing risk regression analysis were used to analyze recurrence.

Results: The median follow-up duration was 2.1 years for the GC group and 7.4 years for the M-VAC group (P < 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences between the GC and M-VAC groups with regard to CRR (27.3% vs. 17.1%, P = 0.419) or PRR (45.5% vs. 37.1%, P = 0.498). The predicted 5-year freedom from OM rate (P = 0.634) and cumulative incidence of recurrence rate (P = 0.891) did not differ between the GC and M-VAC groups. Multivariable analysis showed that there was no independent association between type of NAC and OM (P = 0.721) or recurrence (P = 0.065).

Conclusions: Pathologic and survival outcomes did not differ in patients who received GC and M-VAC NAC. These data support the use of the GC regimen in the neoadjuvant setting.

Keywords: Cisplatin; Cystectomy; Doxorubicin; Gemcitabine; Methotrexate; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Pathologic downstaging; Urinary bladder neoplasms; Vinblastine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / surgery
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cystectomy / methods
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vinblastine / administration & dosage


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