BACKGROUND: Cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) before cystectomy improves survival in muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer (MIBC). The use of NAC before chemoradiation (CRT) has been limited, as these patients are often elderly, frail, and ineligible for cisplatin. However, the role of NAC in fit, cisplatin-eligible patients who opt for bladder preservation warrants further evaluation.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with MIBC treated with NAC followed by CRT at the Princess Margaret and Durham Regional cancer centers from 2008 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Gemcitabine-cisplatin NAC was given for 2 to 4 cycles, followed by reassessment for CRT. External-beam radiotherapy (60-66 Gy) over 6 weeks was given with concurrent weekly cisplatin at 40 mg/m2. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analyses.
RESULTS: We identified 57 consecutive patients. Median age was 72 (range 45-87), and all had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 (60%) or 1 (40%). Stage II disease (65%), stage III disease (25%), and regional nodal metastases (11%) were included. Most completed planned NAC (95%). All patients completed external-beam radiotherapy, and 84% completed at least 60% of the planned concurrent weekly cisplatin doses. Median (range) follow-up was 19.3 (4.8-96.1) months. Median overall survival (OS) was not reached. Two-year OS and disease-specific survival rates were 74% (95% confidence interval, 57.7-84.9) and 88% (95% confidence interval, 78.5-98.1), respectively. Two-year bladder-intact disease-free survival was 64%. Salvage cystectomy was performed in 14%. Distant relapse occurred in 11%, and 9% died of metastatic disease. OS was associated with baseline hydronephrosis and with bladder-intact disease-free survival with residual disease on cystoscopy.
CONCLUSION: NAC followed by CRT can result in encouraging outcomes and tolerability in cisplatin-eligible patients.