THE FATE OF PATIENTS WITH LOCALLY ADVANCED BLADDER CANCER TREATED CONSERVATIVELY WITH NEOADJUVANT CHEMOTHERAPY, EXTENSIVE TRANSURETHRAL RESECTION AND RADIOTHERAPY: 10-YEAR EXPERIENCE

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Abstract

Purpose

We asses the results of bladder preservation for infiltrating cancer. The potential for neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by extensive transurethral resection and radiotherapy was evaluated in 40 patients with T2-T4a G2-G3 bladder carcinoma.

Materials and Methods

From 1983 to 1995, 40 patients with bladder cancer underwent bladder sparing treatment, consisting of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, extensive transurethral resection and radiotherapy. Most patients had T3G3 cancer. A deep transurethral resection biopsy was performed before and after chemotherapy, and an extensive transurethral resection was repeated at the end of radiotherapy. Of the patients 30 received cisplatin and methotrexate and 10 also received vinblastine. Total dose of radiotherapy was 60 to 65 Gy. Recurrent superficial tumors were treated transurethrally. Radical cystectomy was considered for persistent or recurrent invasive disease.

Results

Complete response occurred in 19 patients (47.5%) after chemotherapy, and in 8 patients after transurethral resection and radiotherapy (67.5%). Within 10 years 8 responding patients (30%) had local recurrences and 3 underwent cystectomy. Of the patients 14 (35%) are alive, including 13 with no evidence of disease (mean survival 65 months), 5 died of unrelated disease and 21 (52.5%) died of distant metastases (mean survival 28 months). Of the 21 patients 14 had residual tumor after radiotherapy, 3 presented with distant metastases after vesical infiltrating recurrence and 4 had distant metastases in the absence of locoregional recurrence. In 22 patients (55%) the bladder was salvaged. Patients with complete response to chemotherapy had a low risk for recurrent infiltrating tumors and metastases.

Conclusions

Complete tumor control was maintained at 5 years in more than 50% of the patients treated conservatively. Bladder salvage is feasible in select patients.

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