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Keywords:

  • sarcopenia;
  • mortality;
  • frailty;
  • bladder cancer;
  • radical cystectomy;
  • survival

BACKGROUND

The authors evaluated sarcopenia as a predictor of cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) among patients with urothelial cancer of the bladder undergoing radical cystectomy (RC).

METHODS

The lumbar skeletal muscle index (SMI) of 205 patients treated with RC for urothelial cancer between 2000 and 2007 was measured. Sarcopenia was classified according to international consensus definitions (SMI of < 55 cm2/m2 for men and < 39 cm2/m2 for women). The CSS and OS were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test. Variables associated with CSS and all-cause mortality were summarized with hazard ratios (HRs).

RESULTS

Of 205 patients, 141 (68.8%) were sarcopenic. Patients with sarcopenia were older, but were otherwise similar to patients without sarcopenia with respect to sex, Charlson comorbidity index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, receipt of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, TNM stage of disease, and tumor grade (P > .05 for all). The median follow-up was 6.7 years, during which time 135 patients died, including 91 who died of bladder cancer. Sarcopenic patients had significantly worse 5-year CSS (49% vs 72%; P = .003) and OS (39% vs 70%; P = .003) compared with patients without sarcopenia. Moreover, sarcopenia was found to be independently associated with both increased CSS (HR, 2.14; P = .007) and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.93; P = .004) on multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

The presence of sarcopenia was found to significantly increase a patient's risk of CSS and all-cause mortality after undergoing RC for bladder cancer. Cancer 2014;120:2910–2918. © 2014 American Cancer Society.