Role of surgical consolidation in metastatic urothelial carcinoma

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Purpose of review

Since the development of systemic combination chemotherapy, postchemotherapy extirpation has been performed in selected patients mainly with locally advanced and/or initially unresectable bladder cancer, and, in very selected patients, surgical consolidation for visceral metastases has also been performed. The purpose of this article was to review and summarize the current evidence for the role of surgical consolidation in metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

Recent findings

The role of metastasectomy has not yet been examined in a randomized setting. In terms of locally advanced and/or node-positive bladder cancer, studies further support the benefit of surgical consolidation, especially after a favorable response to systemic chemotherapy. Regarding metastasectomy for visceral metastasis, recent evidence suggested that lung metastases (ideally small solitary lesions) are a good indication.


Patients with a good response to chemotherapy, limited nodal/pulmonary disease, and a favorable performance status are good candidates for surgical consolidation. Careful patient selection is mandatory.

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