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Keywords:

  • bladder cancer;
  • chemotherapy;
  • conservative treatment;
  • radiotherapy;
  • transurethral resection

Abstract

BACKGROUND.

The authors evaluated their long-term experience with combined-modality, conservative treatment in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

METHODS.

In total, 121 patients with T2, T3, or T4 bladder cancer (mean age, 63 years; ratio of men to women, 3:1) underwent induction by transurethral resection (TUR) of the tumor and received 2 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (RT) (n = 43 patients) or radiochemotherapy (RCT) (n = 78 patients). Six weeks after RT or RCT, responses were evaluated by restaging TUR. Patients who achieved a complete response (CR) were observed at regular intervals. In patients who had persistent or recurrent invasive tumor, further treatment was recommended.

RESULTS.

Local response evaluation by restaging TUR was possible in 119 patients, and 102 of those patients (85.7%) achieved a CR. After a median follow-up of 66 months (range, 6–182 months), no local or distant disease recurrences were observed in 67 of 102 complete responders (65.7%), 17 of 102 complete responders (16.7%) experienced superficial local disease recurrence, and 18 of 102 complete responders (17.6%) had a muscle-invasive relapse. The 5-year tumor-specific, overall, and bladder-intact survival rates were 73.5%, 67.7%, and 51.2%, respectively. Treatment modality, tumor classification, and resection status after initial TUR had an impact on survival rates (P = .04, P = .02, and P = .02, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS.

The current results indicated that conservative combined treatment is a reasonable alternative to radical cystectomy in selected patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Cancer 2008. © 2007 American Cancer Society.