Objective: We aimed to determine the validity of two risk scores for patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in different European settings, in patients with primary tumours.
Methods: We included 1,892 patients with primary stage Ta or T1 non-muscle invasive bladder cancer who underwent a transurethral resection in Spain (n = 973), the Netherlands (n = 639), or Denmark (n = 280). We evaluated recurrence-free survival and progression-free survival according to the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the Spanish Urological Club for Oncological Treatment (CUETO) risk scores for each patient and used the concordance index (c-index) to indicate discriminative ability.
Results: The 3 cohorts were comparable according to age and sex, but patients from Denmark had a larger proportion of patients with the high stage and grade at diagnosis (p<0.01). At least one recurrence occurred in 839 (44%) patients and 258 (14%) patients had a progression during a median follow-up of 74 months. Patients from Denmark had the highest 10-year recurrence and progression rates (75% and 24%, respectively), whereas patients from Spain had the lowest rates (34% and 10%, respectively). The EORTC and CUETO risk scores both predicted progression better than recurrence with c-indices ranging from 0.72 to 0.82 while for recurrence, those ranged from 0.55 to 0.61.
Conclusion: The EORTC and CUETO risk scores can reasonably predict progression, while prediction of recurrence is more difficult. New prognostic markers are needed to better predict recurrence of tumours in primary non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients.