Refining patient selection for neoadjuvant chemotherapy before radical cystectomy

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Culp S.H., Dickstein R.J., Grossman H.B., Pretzsch S.M., Porten S., Daneshmand S., Cai J., Groshen S., Siefker-Radtke A., Millikan R.E., Czerniak B., Navai N., Wszolek M.F., Kamat A.M., Dinney C.P.N.

Journal of Urology 2014 191:1 (40-47)

Purpose We evaluated the survival of patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer undergoing radical cystectomy without neoadjuvant chemotherapy to confirm the utility of existing clinical tools to identify low risk patients who could be treated with radical cystectomy alone and a high risk group most likely to benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Materials and Methods We identified patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer who underwent radical cystectomy without neoadjuvant chemotherapy at our institution between 2000 and 2010. Patients were considered high risk based on the clinical presence of hydroureteronephrosis, cT<inf>3b</inf>-T<inf>4a</inf> disease, and/or histological evidence of lymphovascular invasion, micropapillary or neuroendocrine features on transurethral resection. We evaluated survival (disease specific, progression-free and overall) and rate of pathological up staging. An independent cohort of patients from another institution was used to confirm our findings. Results We identified 98 high risk and 199 low risk patients eligible for analysis. High risk patients exhibited decreased 5-year overall survival (47.0% vs 64.8%) and decreased disease specific (64.3% vs 83.5%) and progression-free (62.0% vs 84.1%) survival probabilities compared to low risk patients (p <0.001). Survival outcomes were confirmed in the validation subset. On final pathology 49.2% of low risk patients had disease up staged. Conclusions The 5-year disease specific survival of low risk patients was greater than 80%, supporting the distinction of high risk and low risk muscle invasive bladder cancer. The presence of high risk features identifies patients with a poor prognosis who are most likely to benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy, while many of those with low risk disease can undergo surgery up front with good expectations and avoid chemotherapy associated toxicity.

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