Significance of prophylactic urethrectomy at the time of radical cystectomy for bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer
07/09/2020

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2020 Sep 7:hyaa168. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyaa168. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prophylactic urethrectomy at the time of radical cystectomy is frequently recommended for patients with bladder cancer at a high risk of urethral recurrence without definitive evidence. The present study attempted to clarify the survival benefits of performing prophylactic urethrectomy.

METHODS: We identified 214 male patients who were treated by radical cystectomy with an incontinent urinary diversion in our seven institutions between 2004 and 2017. We used propensity score matching and ultimately identified 114 patients, 57 of whom underwent prophylactic urethrectomy (prophylactic urethrectomy group) and 57 who did not (non-prophylactic urethrectomy group).

RESULTS: No significant differences were observed in the 5-year overall survival rate between the prophylactic urethrectomy and non-prophylactic urethrectomy groups in the overall. However, the local recurrence rate was significantly lower in the prophylactic urethrectomy group than in the non-prophylactic urethrectomy group (P = 0.015). In the subgroup of 58 patients with multiple tumours and/or concomitant carcinoma in situ at the time of transurethral resection of bladder tumour, the 5-year overall survival rate was significantly higher in the prophylactic urethrectomy group than in the non-prophylactic urethrectomy group (P = 0.021). A multivariate analysis revealed that performing prophylactic urethrectomy was the only independent predictor of the overall survival rate (P = 0.016). In those patients who were treated without neoadjuvant chemotherapy (n = 38), the 5-year overall survival rate was significantly higher in the prophylactic urethrectomy group than in the non-prophylactic urethrectomy group (P = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS: Prophylactic urethrectomy at the time of radical cystectomy may have a survival benefit in patients with multiple tumours and/or concomitant carcinoma in situ, particularly those who do not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy.