Sequelae of treatment in 109 patients followed for 5 to 15 years after diagnosis of sarcoma of the bladder and prostate. A report from the intergroup rhabdomyosarcoma study committee



Background. As increasing numbers of young patients with cancer survive, interest in the late effects of therapy is rising.

Methods. The sequelae of treatment were reviewed after a minimum of 5 years of observation in 109 surviving patients with sarcoma of the bladder or prostate who were enrolled in the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Studies I and II (1972–1984). The 82 male and 27 female patients were 3 weeks to 19 years of age when the diagnosis was made (median, 2 years) and were 5–29 years of age at last contact (median, 11 years). Treatment consisted of chemotherapy with vincristine, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide and bladder irradiation in nearly all patients.

Results. Fifty-four patients underwent total cystectomy, and 10 had a partial cystectomy. Of the 55 patients with bladder preservation, 1 had a urinary conduit with a nonfunctioning bladder. Thus, 54 bladders (50% of the total) remained in place as part of the urinary tract. There was no information regarding bladder function in two patients. Satisfactory bladder function was found in 38 patients (73%), 9 were incontinent, and 5 had urinary frequency with or without nocturia. Posttherapy hematuria was detected in 29% of patients. Nine of the 31 patients (29%) with follow-up renal imaging studies had a structural abnormality, chiefly hydronephrosis, which was more frequent in those with urinary diversion. Positive urine cultures were found mainly among those with enteric urinary conduits, but only two cases of pyelonephritis were documented. Abnormalities of irradiated bone and bowel were observed infrequently. Only one patient had a significantly elevated blood urea nitrogen or serum creatinine value, and only one patient was hypertensive. Most patients were still prepubertal at last follow-up. Of 24 patients who were intrapubertal or postpubertal, 7 (29%) were receiving sex hormone replacement because of delayed pubertal development. Height was decreased by 25% or more in 11 patients, as confirmed by growth chart analysis. Secondary surgical procedures other than repeat biopsy or cystectomy consisted primarily of urinary conduit revisions and repair of bowel adhesions or fistulous tracts. Information about psychosocial status was limited.

Conclusions. Overall, 50% of the patients retained their bladders, and 73% of them had satisfactory bladder function. Renal function was preserved in nearly every patient.