Radiotherapy for stage T3b transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder

A. Pollack, G. K. Zagars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The role of radiotherapy for the treatment of clinical stage T3b transitional cell carcinoma of the Madder is controversial. The options range from definitive radiotherapy alone, to preoperative radiotherapy and cystectomy, to chemotherapy and radiation for bladder preservation. Our data show that long-term local control after definitive radiotherapy is only 27% and that death attributable to local-regional failure in this setting is 43%. Thus, definitive radiotherapy is only used in patients who are considered poor candidates for surgical and chemotherapy procedures. Preoperative radiotherapy (PREOP) has been studied in a number of randomized series, all of which failed to establish an improvement in patient outcome over those treated with radical cystectomy alone (CYST). However, these studies are subject to criticism, mostly because of poor patient accrual and low numbers of patients available for the analyses. A retrospective review of patients treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center indicates that local control is superior with PREOP as compared with CYST. An analysis of the impact of local control on distant metastasis rates in patients treated with CYST showed that local control was an independent correlate of distant metastasis and survival. Thus, preoperative radiotherapy may be beneficial to patients with late- stage muscle-invasive bladder cancer by securing local control and reducing distant metastasis rates as a result. The success of bladder preservation for stage T3b patients rests with the ability to select patients with radiosensitive tumors. To this and, the immunohistochemical staining status of tumor p53 and pRB was investigated in patients treated with PREOP. Abnormal pRB expression was very strongly related to radiation response, whereas altered p53 expression was associated with high distant metastasis- free and overall survival rates. These two molecular markers were complementary and show promise in facilitating the selection of late-stage patients for bladder preservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Urologic Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 20 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • bladder cancer
  • cystectomy
  • p53
  • pRB
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiotherapy for stage T3b transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this