Bladder cancer in patients younger than 40 years: outcomes from the National Cancer Database

Bladder Cancer

World J Urol. 2020 Jul 31. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03376-9. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical, pathological, and survival outcomes of bladder cancer in patients aged 18-40 years.

METHODS: We identified 362,091 bladder cancer patients from the National Cancer Database between 2004-2013 and compared patients aged 18-40 years to those > 40 years of age with univariate analysis using Chi-square tests. A subset analysis was performed on patients who underwent cystectomy. Multivariable Cox regression was used for overall survival analysis.

RESULTS: Our final analysis included 314,177 patients with 3314 (1.1%) patients aged 18-40 years. Patients aged 18-40 years had a lower male-to-female ratio (2.4 versus 3.0), a greater proportion of low-grade tumors (72.7% versus 48.3%, p < 0.001), non-muscle invasive tumors (90.3% versus 81.2%, p < 0.001), and variant histology (4.0% versus 3.3%, p < 0.001). Similar trends were observed at cystectomy including lower male-to-female ratio in the 18-40 years group (1.7 versus 3.1), a greater proportion of variant histology (25.0% versus 10.0%, p < 0.001); and 53.3% of those younger patients with variant histology were women. Patients aged 18-40 years who underwent cystectomy had a higher proportion of locally advanced disease (pT4 19.2% versus 14.6%, p = 0.004). Multivariable analyses in both cohorts demonstrated that variant histology was a predictor of worse overall survival.

CONCLUSION: The majority of patients aged 18-40 years with bladder cancer present with low-grade, non-muscle-invasive disease associated with better survival. However, a subset of younger patients with a higher proportion of women presents with aggressive bladder cancer which may be partly explained by a higher prevalence of variant histology.