Adjuvant Chemotherapy After Radical Cystectomy for Urothelial Bladder Cancer: Outcome and Prognostic Factors for Survival in a French Multicenter, Contemporary Cohort

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Adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after cystectomy has been widely used for patients with muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer. In this multicenter retrospective cohort of 226 patients, we evaluated patient outcomes and prognostic factors associated with survival. Classical prognostic features were not modified by AC. Patients who benefited from AC had a low lymph node density and received at least 4 treatment cycles.


In the past decade, adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after radical cystectomy (RC) was preferred worldwide for patients with muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer. In this study we aimed to determine the outcome of patients who received AC and evaluated prognostic factors associated with survival.

Patients and Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed 226 consecutive patients treated in 6 academic hospitals between 2000 and 2009. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression adjusted for center to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals were used.


The median age was 62.4 (range, 35-82) years. Patients had pT3/pT4 and/or pN+ in 180 (79.6%) and 168 patients (74.3%), respectively. Median lymph node (LN) density was 25% (range, 3.1-100). Median time between RC and AC was 61.5 (range, 18-162) days. Gemcitabine with cisplatin, gemcitabine with carboplatin, and MVAC (methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin) regimens were delivered in 161 (71.2%), 49 (21.7%), and 12 patients (5.3%) of patients, respectively. The median number of cycles was 4 (range, 1-6). Thirteen patients (5.7%) with LN metastases also received adjuvant pelvic radiotherapy (ART). After a median follow-up of 4.2 years, 5-year overall survival (OS) was 40.7%. In multivariate analysis, pT ≥3 stage (HR, 1.73; P = .05), LN density >50% (HR, 1.94; P = .03), and number of AC cycles <4 (HR, 4.26; P = .001) were adverse prognostic factors for OS. ART (HR, 0.30; P = .05) tended to provide survival benefit.


Classical prognostic features associated with survival are not modified by the use of AC. Patients who derived benefit from AC had a low LN density and received at least 4 cycles of treatment.

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