Long-term results of a single-center prospective randomized trial assessing efficacy of a shortened course of adjuvant chemotherapy after radical cystectomy in patients with locally advanced bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer

Zhegalik AG, et al. Cent European J Urol 2020.


INTRODUCTION: This study assesses the efficacy and tolerability of two cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) with gemcitabine and cisplatin after radical cystectomy in patients with a high risk of progression of muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer as compared to chemotherapy at relapse, in a prospective randomized study.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: From 2008 to 2013, all patients after radical cystectomy at our institution for primary or recurrent urothelial bladder cancer with stage pT3-4 and/or pN+ on histopathology and without contraindications to combination cisplatin-based chemotherapy, were randomized either to two cycles of gemcitabine and cisplatin chemotherapy or to follow-up and chemotherapy at the time of relapse. The study endpoints were overall, cancer-specific, and disease-free survival.

RESULTS: The study included 100 patients, of whom 53 received AC and the other 47 were assigned to the control arm. Out of 53 allocated to AC arm, 16 patients did not start chemotherapy or received only one cycle of AC. The median follow-up for patients in the AC and control arms was 88 and 86 months, respectively. In the AC arm the hazard ratio for death from any cause, death from bladder cancer, and disease relapse were 0.70 (95% CI 0.45-1.11; p = 0.13), 0.84 (95% CI 0.50-1.41; p = 0.51), and 0.77 (95% CI 0.46-1.28; p = 0.31), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Two cycles of AC with gemcitabine and cisplatin in patients with high-risk urothelial bladder cancer after radical cystectomy does not improve overall, cancer-specific, and disease-free survival. Only 53% of patients randomized to AC received the entire planned treatment.