• cystectomy;
  • elderly;
  • transitional cell carcinoma;
  • pathologic stage



The authors reported their experience with radical cystectomy for transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder. They compared pathologic features and survival rates between older and younger patients.


The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 1054 patients who underwent radical cystectomy for bladder TCC between 1971 and 1997. Four age groups were compared: < 60 years old at the time of cystectomy (n = 310), 60–69 years old (n = 381), 70–79 years old (n = 313), and ≥ 80 years old (n = 50).


There were no significant differences in pathologic features among the groups regarding frequency of carcinoma in situ, high-grade disease, p53 status, and lymph node positivity. However, in the age groups < 60, 60–69, 70–79, and ≥ 80, 45%, 49%, 51%, and 72% of patients, respectively, had extravesical TCC (P=0.004). Significant differences also were seen in the proportion of patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy (26%, 26%, 15%, and 6%, respectively; P < 0.001). The 5-year overall survival rates for patients < 60, 60–69, 70–79, and ≥ 80 years old were 72%, 58%, 54%, and 33%, respectively (P < 0.001). The 5-year disease recurrence-free survival rates were 75%, 65%, 68%, and 45%, respectively (P = 0.003). The elderly had a lower probability of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.


Elderly patients undergoing cystectomy for TCC had similar pathologic features (except for disease stage) as younger patients. In the current series, elderly patients undergoing cystectomy had a higher pathologic stage and were less likely to receive adjuvant chemotherapy. The elderly hade worse disease recurrence-free survival rates. Further work is needed to identify the causes for this and to develop strategies to improve cancer control in elderly patients. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.