Gemcitabine based trimodality treatment in patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer: May neutrophil lymphocyte and platelet lymphocyte ratios predict outcomes?

Urol Oncol. 2021 Jun;39(6):368.e19-368.e29. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.11.006. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


Purpose: Cisplatin based chemoradiation has been commonly used as a definitive treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). The aim of the current study is to evaluate oncologic results and toxicity profile of bladder-sparing treatment with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and gemcitabine chemotherapy (ChT) in patients with MIBC.

Materials and methods: Between April 2005 and November 2018 44 patients with nonmetastatic and N0 MIBC were treated with transurethral resection of bladder (TURB), EBRT and concurrent gemcitabine. All patients were staged using thorax-abdomen-pelvic CT and pelvic MRI. EBRT was delivered using 3D conformal technique or intensity modulated radiotherapy. Patients received 50 Gy in 25 to 28 fractions to full bladder followed by a boost dose of 10 Gy in 5 fractions to empty bladder with weekly concurrent gemcitabine of 50 mg/m2. All patients were evaluated for age, gender, smoking status, neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet lymphocyte ratio (PLR) at diagnosis, presence of hydroureteronephrosis (HUN), preoperative tumor size, tumor multifocality, presence of CIS, clinical tumor stage. Acute/late genitourinary (GUS) and gastrointestinal (GIS) toxicity, recurrence status, cancer specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS v21.0. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were calculated to describe CSS and OS. The effect of different parameters on survival was investigated using the log rank test.

Results: Median age of the patients was 72 years (interquartile [IQR]; 66-80). The median tumor size was 30 mm (IQR, 15-59 mm). Thirty-two (77%) patients had T2, 6 (14%) patients had T3, and 4 (9%) patients had T4a disease. Median NLR was 2.6 (IQR, 1.7-3.8) and median PLR was 126.47 (IQR, 77.4-184.8). Median follow-up time was 21 months (range, 6-153 months). At the first TURB performed 6 weeks after CRT, complete response, partial response, stable disease, and progression was detected in 37 (84%), 3 (7%), 1 (2%), and 3 (7%) patients, respectively. One- and 2-year OS, CSS, LRFS, and DMFS rates were 86% and 64%; 88% and 66%; 65% and 44%; 68% and 48%, respectively. In univariate analysis; prognostic factors were age and presence of HUN for OS and DMFS; age, HUN, presence of CIS, NLR, and PLR for DSS; HUN, NLR, and PLR for LRFS, respectively. In multivariate analysis, the independent predictor was the presence of HUN for OS, LRFS, and DMFS; NLR for DSS; PLR for LRFS and age for DMSF. For a subgroup of 17 patients with complete TURB and no CIS and HUN symptoms, 2-year OS, DSS, LRFS, and DMFS rates were 88%, 88%, 72%, and 79%, respectively. The treatment was well-tolerated and all patients completed the planned EBRT and ChT. No acute or late ≥ grade 3 toxicity was observed. Grade II acute GIS toxicity was detected in 3 (7%) patients and grade II acute GUS toxicity was detected in 9 (21%) patients, respectively. Grade II late GUS toxicity was observed in 2 (5%) patients.

Conclusion: Gemcitabine based trimodality treatment is well-tolerated with similar oncologic outcomes reported in the literature. Older age, presence of CIS and high NLR and PLR values seem to deteriorate DSS.

Keywords: Bladder cancer; Gemcitabine; Trimodality therapy.