Natural history of pT3-4 or node positive bladder cancer treated with radical cystectomy and no neoadjuvant chemotherapy in a contemporary North-American multi-institutional cohort
Background: The present study documents the natural history and outcomes of high-risk bladder cancer after radical cystectomy (RC) in patients who did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy during a contemporary time period.
Methods: We analyzed 1180 patients from 1993 to 2008 with >pT3N0 or pT0-4N+ bladder cancer who underwent RC ± standard (sLND) or extended (eLND) lymph node dissection from 8 Canadian centres.
Results: Of the 1180 patients, 55% (n = 643) underwent sLND, 34% (n = 402) underwent ePLND and 11% did not undergo a formal LND. Of the total number of patients, 321 (27%) received adjuvant chemotherapy. The median follow-up was 2.1 years (range: 0.6 to 12.9). Overall 30-day mortality was 3.2%. Clinical and pathological stages T3-4 were present in 6.1% and 86.7% of the patients, respectively; this demonstrates a dramatic understaging. Overall survival (OS) at 2 and 5 years was 60% and 43%, respectively. Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy hada 2- and 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) of 72% and 57% versus 64% and 51% for those who did not (log-rank p = 0.0039). The 2- and 5-year OS for high-risk node-negative disease was 67%and 52%, respectively, whereas for node-positive patients, the OS was 52% and 32%, respectively (p < 0.001). The OS, DSS and RFS for patients with pN0 were significantly improved compared to those who did not undergo a LND (log-rank p = 0.0035, 0.0241 and 0.0383, respectively).
Interpretation: This series suggests that bladder cancer outcomes inadvanced disease have improved in the modern era. The need for improved staging investigations, use of neoadjuvant chemotherapyand performance of complete LND is emphasized.
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