We describe a protocol designed to evaluate the use of twice daily radiation used together with cisplatin and 5 fluorouracil (5-FU) in the treatment of operable transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder with potential bladder preservation.Materials and Methods
A total of 18 consecutive patients with T2-T4a bladder tumors underwent as complete a transurethral resection as possible, which was visibly complete in 14 cases. They then received twice daily radiation and infusion cisplatin and 5-FU during an induction phase. No therapy was given for 3 weeks, following which patients were reevaluated cystoscopically. Cases of clinical complete response by biopsy and cytology were consolidated with further chemotherapy/radiation using the same chemotherapeutic agents and radiation schedule. Patients who had incomplete responses were advised to undergo an immediate radical cystectomy. Of the 18 patients 15 subsequently received 3 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy, consisting of methotrexate, cisplatin and vinblastine. Median followup for the entire group is 32 months.Results
Of the 18 patients 14 had no detectable tumor after induction therapy. Of the 4 patients with persistent tumor 2 underwent radical cystectomy and 2 refused cystectomy, 1 of whom was treated with partial cystectomy and the other with consolidation chemotherapy/radiation. The actuarial overall survival at 3 years was 83%. The chance of a patient being alive at 3 years with a native bladder was 78%. No patient required cystectomy for hematuria or bladder shrinkage. Three patients in whom superficial tumors developed were treated successfully with bacillus Calmette-Guerin. Small bowel obstruction in 1 case was corrected surgically.Conclusions
This pilot study demonstrates a high rate of response to this combined chemotherapy/radiation regimen in conjunction with a visibly complete transurethral resection. Reevaluation after a short induction phase allows for the early selection of patients with persistent disease for radical cystectomy.