Setting the stage for bladder preservation

Bladder Cancer

Urol Oncol. 2020 Sep 29:S1078-1439(20)30421-X. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.09.001. Online ahead of print.


There is an underutilization of potentially curative treatments for patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Contemporary trimodality bladder-preservation therapy - which includes a maximally safe transurethral resection of the bladder tumor followed by concurrent chemoradiation and close cystoscopic surveillance with salvage cystectomy reserved for invasive tumor recurrence - can help fulfill this unmet need. Over the past few decades, cumulative published data from prospective clinical

trials and large institutional series have established trimodality therapy (TMT) for select patients as a safe and effective alternative to upfront cystectomy. Indeed, TMT is now supported as an accepted option for muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients by numerous clinical guidelines. Following TMT, the vast majority of long-term survivors maintain their native bladders, which tend to function well with relatively low rates of long-term toxicity and good long-term quality of life. There is the potential to further improve outcomes by optimizing systemic therapy integration and by validating predictive biomarkers for improved patient and treatment selection. TMT offers a unique opportunity for urologic surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists to work hand-in-hand in a multidisciplinary effort to deliver such therapy optimally, to support its research, to promote informed decision-making and ultimately to preserve the autonomy of patients with bladder cancer. The third annual meeting of the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute/American Urological Association Translational Research Collaboration allowed bladder cancer experts to meet and advance this mission.