Third-Line Chemotherapy for Metastatic Urothelial Cancer: A Retrospective Observational Study

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Abstract

The prognosis of locally advanced (T3/T4 or N1) and metastatic disease urothelial carcinoma is poor. In this retrospective study, we reviewed data about patients receiving third-line chemotherapy for metastatic disease, in view of the lack of data in this setting.

We retrospectively analyzed medical records of patients with a pathologic diagnosis of urothelial carcinoma treated with systemic chemotherapy for metastatic disease at 4 participating Institutions between January, 2010, and January, 2015. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate the association of the chemotherapy agent used versus others with overall survival, adjusted for 5 externally validated prognostic factors in advanced urothelial carcinoma.

Of 182 patients that received first-line chemotherapy/adjuvant chemotherapy as defined above, 116 patients (63.73%) received second-line salvage treatment. Fifty-two patients were finally included in this analysis, whereas 9 were excluded due to missing data. Third-line chemotherapy was based on cyclophosphamide, platinum, vinflunine, taxanes, and gemcitabine in 16, 12, 11, 10, and 3 patients, respectively. Median PFS (progression-free survival) and OS (overall survival) of the population were 13 (10–17) and 31 (28–36) weeks. Single-agent cyclophosphamide was associated with a PFS of 18 (13–22) and an OS of 38 (33–41) weeks, whereas platinum-based combinations were associated with a PFS of 5 weeks and an OS of 8 weeks. Multivariate analysis showed improved survival in patients treated with cyclophosphamide (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.20–0.89; P = 0.025) and a worse survival in those treated with platinum-based regimens (HR: 4.37; 95% CI = 1.95–9.77; P < 0.01).

We observed a significantly longer overall survival in patients receiving single-agent cyclophosphamide, with few grade 3 to 4 toxicities. Further studies should assess the efficacy of metronomic single-agent cyclophosphamide in advanced lines of treatment, as it may yield a survival benefit with low costs and no detrimental effects on quality of life.

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