Outcomes Following Radical Cystectomy for Plasmacytoid Urothelial Carcinoma: Defining the Need for Improved Local Cancer Control.

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To evaluate oncological outcomes after radical cystectomy (RC) in patients with plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma (UC) and to compare survival to that in patients with pure UC of the bladder.


We identified 46 patients with plasmacytoid UC and 972 with pure UC who were treated with RC between 1980 and 2009. All pathologic specimens were re-reviewed by a single GU pathologist. Patients were matched 1:2 by age, gender, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, pathologic tumor stage, and nodal status to patients with pure UC. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log rank test.


Patients with plasmacytoid UC were more likely to have extravesical disease (≥pT3) (83% vs 43%, P < .0001) and positive margins (31% vs 2.1%, P < .0001) than patients with pure UC. Plasmacytoid UC was associated with decreased overall survival (27% vs 45% at 5 years, relative risk [RR] 1.4, P = .04), cancer-specific survival (36% vs 57% at 5 years, RR 1.7, P = .01), and local recurrence-free survival (63% vs 81% at 5 years, RR 2, P = .01). When patients with plasmacytoid UC were matched to those with pure UC, there were no significant differences in 5-year overall, cancer-specific, and local or distant recurrence-free survival.


Plasmacytoid UC is associated with a high rate of locally advanced disease and positive margins at RC, as well as increased local recurrence rates. Further research is necessary to delineate adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment strategies to improve local cancer control of this rare subtype of UC.

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