Determinants of adequate lymph node dissection following neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with urothelial muscle-invasive bladder cancer: results from the National Cancer Database

Bladder Cancer

Int Urol Nephrol. 2020 Aug 31. doi: 10.1007/s11255-020-02625-5. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Recent literature has separately identified multiple determinants of the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and adherence to pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) guidelines in the management of non-metastatic bladder cancer. However, such NAC/PLND analyses tend not to account for the other modality, despite the fact that NAC may impact the extent of dissectible lymph nodes. We aimed to determine the predictors of adequate PLND in patients with non-metastatic urothelial muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) following receipt of NAC.

METHODS: We queried the National Cancer Database to identify patients from 2006-2015 with cT2-cT4a/N0M0 urothelial MIBC who underwent RC and were pre-treated with NAC. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of undergoing an adequate PLND (defined as > 8 nodes).

RESULTS: A total of 1518 patients met the criteria for inclusion (74.4% underwent adequate PLND). Adequate PLND was associated with treatment at an academic research facility (OR 2.762 [95% CI 2.119-3.599], p < 0.001). The likelihood of adequate PLND was significantly decreased in patients of older age (0.607 [0.441-0.835], p = 0.002 for age 70-79 years; 0.459 [0.245-0.860], p = 0.015 for age ≥ 80 years), a Charlson-Deyo score of 1 (0.722 [0.537-0.971], p = 0.031), and those who were uninsured (0.530 [0.292-0.964], p = 0.038).

CONCLUSIONS: Established predictors of PLND may not necessarily be generalizable to all patients undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. The interplay between PLND and NAC merits further study, particularly in view of recent literature calling into question the survival benefit of PLND in patients pre-treated with NAC.