Medline: 9422567

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 40(1): 121-127, 1998.

Efficacy of radiochemotherapy with platin derivatives compared to radiotherapy alone in organ-sparing treatment of bladder cancer.

Sauer R, Birkenhake S, Kuhn R, et al.


Presently, for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, radical cystectomy is considered to be the standard treatment. Bladder preservation, in the interest of quality of life, is secondary to the primary treatment goal of curing the patient. We present a 14-year multivariate analysis of prognostic factors influencing survival and bladder preservation after transurethral resection of the bladder (TURB) and radiotherapy (RT) +/- chemotherapy.

AND MATERIALS: From May 1982 to May 1996, sequential cohorts of 333 patients with bladder cancer (mean age: 66 years) were treated by either RT alone (128 patients), or with platin-based concomitant radiochemotherapy (RCT, 205 patients) after TURB. Patients (282) with muscle-invasive or T1 high-risk cancers (Grade III, residual tumor after TURB, multifocality, tumor diameter > 5 cm, associated Tis or Ta, multiple recurrences or lymph node metastases), who received a minimal target dose of 45 Gy were selected for analysis (med. follow-up = 7.5 years): after October 1985, 115 patients received cisplatin (25 mg/m2) and 69 patients carboplatin (65 mg/m2) before every treatment fraction (1.8 Gy) on Days 1-5 and 29-33 of conventional fractionated RT.

Complete remission rate was 20% (55 of 282 patients) after radical TURB, 57% (56 of 98) after TURB plus postoperative RT, and 80% (145 of 181 patients) after TURB plus RCT (85% after concomitant cisplatin and 70% after RCT plus carboplatin). These differences were significant in multivariate analysis (p = 0.003-0.05). The strongest impact on initial response had T-category (p < 0.0001) and R-status after TURB (p < 0.0003). Cause-specific survival (CSS) was 59 and 43% after 5 and 10 years; 79% of patients survived with preserved bladder. Five-year CSS after RT, RCT-Cis, and RCT-Carbo was 40, 64, and 54%, 10-year CSS 31, 48, and 27%, respectively (p = 0.04-0.045, univariate). R-status after TURB was the only independent prognostic factor for survival and bladder preservation. For relapsed patients after cystectomy, the 5- and 10-year CSS were 40 and 33%.

TURB followed by RT/RCT is an alternative treatment option to primary cystectomy for patients with muscle-invading bladder cancer. Compared to historic controls, the addition of cisplatin or carboplatin leads to significantly more complete remissions and better survival. Survival rates are similar to those achieved by primary cystectomy and possibly even better for selected subjects, such as patients with T3b and T4 tumors. Cystectomy should be restricted to only those patients who fail after RCT.

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