Trimodal therapy in T2-4aN0M0 bladder cancer--How to select the best candidate?

Bladder Cancer

Cancer Med. 2020 Sep 22. doi: 10.1002/cam4.3478. Online ahead of print.


The reported results of trimodal treatment (TMT) in muscle-invasive bladder cancer vary widely. We attempted to characterize the profile of ideal candidates for this approach. Between 2000 and 2019, 105 patients (median age 78 years) with T2-4aN0M0 bladder cancer were treated with TMT and analyzed retrospectively. Mean radiotherapy dose was 62 Gy (SD 8.4). Ten pretreatment prognostic parameters were evaluated including tumor diameter on pre-TURBT CT. Multivariate analyses was performed and

combination of parameters was studied. After a median follow-up of 29 months, 53 patients (50.5%) developed recurrence and 70 patients (67.7%) died. Death was disease-specific in 46 patients (65.7%). Tumor diameter was the most significant prognostic parameter with p < 0.0001 for overall, disease-specific and recurrence-free survivals. For every 1 cm increase in tumor diameter, the risk of disease-specific mortality increased by 1.57. Age, cisplatin eligibility and the Charlson Comorbidity Index were significant predictors of overall survival but not of disease-specific or recurrence-free survival. Patients who were cisplatin-eligible with a tumor diameter ≤3 cm had a 5-year disease-specific survival rate of 79.2% as opposed to 33.9% in patients without one of these features (p < 0.001). When tumor diameter exceeded 5 cm (irrelevant of all other parameters), 5-year disease-specific survival rate was only 28.2%. Patient profiles can accurately predict response to TMT. In cisplatin-eligible patients with a tumor diameter ≤3 cm, TMT provides an excellent disease-specific survival rate. In patients with a tumor diameter >5 cm TMT renders unacceptably poor treatment outcomes.