Cystectomy is the standard treatment for patients with infiltrating bladder cancer, but conservative treatment with cystoscopic resection followed by radiochemotherapy may be an alternative for highly selected patients. The addition of gemcitabine to cisplatin and radiotherapy may enhance disease control.
The long-term clinical outcomes of 26 patients enrolled in a previously published dose-finding study and a prematurely discontinued phase 2 trial were evaluated. All the patients underwent transurethral tumor resection followed by a radical dose of external radiotherapy administered at the same time as cisplatin and weekly gemcitabine therapy.
After a median follow-up of 74 months, the projected 5-year clinical outcomes were a 70.1% overall survival rate, a 78.9% disease-specific survival rate, and a 73.8% bladder-intact survival rate.
The long-term follow-up data from the current study confirmed that the addition of gemcitabine to radiotherapy and cisplatin is safe and leads to good local and distant disease control. The concomitant administration of cisplatin may explain the good long-term organ preservation that was observed. Conducting confirmatory and comparative trials could satisfy an unmet need but requires the multidisciplinary cooperation of urologists in selecting the right patients for a bladder-sparing strategy. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.