Canadian experience of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on bladder recurrences in patients managed with trimodal therapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer
Introduction: Bladder preservation with trimodal therapy (TMT) has emerged as a feasible alternative to radical cystectomy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) was proven to cause pathological downstaging. For this reason, we evaluated whether receipt of NAC decreases local bladder recurrences in TMT patients.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed our TMT database for all patients treated between 2003 and 2017. Patients were treated with maximal transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) followed by chemotherapy/radiotherapy with or without NAC. Baseline demographic and tumor characteristics were recorded. Rates of local and systemic recurrence were analyzed per receipt of NAC. Overall recurrence-free survival (RFS) and bladder (b)RFS were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards modelling.
Results: Median age and followup periods were 72 years and 3.6 years, respectively. Fifty-four patients had NAC and concurrent chemoradiation (NAC-TMT) vs. 70 patients who had concurrent chemoradiation only (TMT). Carcinoma in situ (CIS) was present in 31% of the patients in NAC-TMT group compared to 24% in TMT group (p=0.40). After treatment, 24 (44%) and 31 (44%) patients in NAC-TMT and TMT groups, respectively, had bladder tumor recurrence. Overall RFS at three years was 46% and 50% in NAC-TMT and TMT groups, respectively (p=0.70). BRFS at three years was 55% and 69% in NAC-TMT and TMT groups, respectively (p=0.27). Multivariable analyses found that the presence of concomitant CIS (hazard ratio [HR] 2.13; 95% confidence interval CI 1.06–4.27; p=0.0036) was the primary factor associated with local bladder recurrence.
Conclusions: Receipt of NAC does not obviate the risk of bladder recurrence post-TMT. Patients with CIS should be monitored especially closely for local recurrence.
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