Bladder-Preserving Trimodality Therapy With Capecitabine

Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2024 Apr;22(2):476-482.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.clgc.2024.01.002. Epub 2024 Jan 9.


Introduction: Many patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer are poor candidates for radical cystectomy or trimodality therapy with maximal transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) and chemoradiotherapy with cisplatin or mitomycin C. Given the benefit of chemotherapy in bladder-preserving therapy, less-intense concurrent chemotherapy regimens are needed. This study reports on efficacy and toxicity for patients treated with trimodality therapy using single-agent concurrent capecitabine.

Materials and methods: Patients deemed ineligible for radical cystectomy or standard chemoradiotherapy by a multidisciplinary tumor board and patients who refused cystectomy were included. Following TURBT, patients received twice-daily capecitabine (goal dose 825 mg/m2) concurrent with radiotherapy to the bladder +/- pelvis depending on nodal staging and patient risk factors. Toxicity was evaluated prospectively in weekly on-treatment visits and follow-up visits by the treating physicians. Descriptive statistics are provided. Overall, progression-free, cancer-specific, distant metastasis-free, and bladder recurrence-free survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Twenty-seven consecutive patients met criteria for inclusion from 2013 to 2023. The median age was 79 with 9 patients staged cT3-4a and 7 staged cN1-3. The rate of complete response in the bladder and pelvis was 93%. Overall, progression-free, cancer-specific, distant metastasis-free, and bladder recurrence-free survival at 2 years were estimated as 81%, 65%, 91%, 75%, and 92%, respectively. There were 2 bladder recurrences, both noninvasive. There were 7 grade 3 acute hematologic or metabolic events but no other grade 3+ toxicities.

Conclusion: Maximal TURBT followed by radiotherapy with concurrent capecitabine offers a high rate of bladder control and low rates of acute and late toxicity.

Keywords: Bladder cancer; Chemoradiation therapy; Radiation therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Capecitabine / adverse effects
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cystectomy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder* / pathology


  • Capecitabine
  • Cisplatin