Results of radical cystectomy for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder and the effect of chemotherapy

Mark S. Soloway, Armando E. Lopez, Jay Patel, Ying Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Background. Radical cystectomy continues to be one of the primary modalities of treatment for locally advanced bladder cancer. However, long- term survival after cystectomy has improved only marginally in the last decade, and still, nearly half of the patients die from the disease within 5 years. Adjuvant treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy have been used, but a clear advantage has not been demonstrated. Methods. The authors reviewed 130 patients who underwent radical cystectomy by the same surgeon as treatment for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. Morbidity, postoperative mortality, overall survival time, and accuracy of clinical staging as well as the effect of perioperative chemotherapy were evaluated. Results. The overall actuarial survival rate at 2, 5, and 10 years was 80%, 53%, and 45%, respectively. The survival rate based on T- classification at 5 years was 82%, 65%, and 28% for less than pT2, pT2, and greater than pT2, respectively. Regional lymph node status had a significant effect on survival. The 5-year survival rate for all patients with negative nodes was 65%, whereas patients with positive nodes had a 18% 5-year survival rate. The overall clinical staging error was 61.5%, with 41.5% of the cancers understaged. Of the patients with cTis, 60% were found to be of greater extent than pT1 tumors. No apparent survival advantage was noted for those patients who received perioperative chemotherapy when compared with patients who were followed conservatively or received chemotherapy upon relapse. These results, however, are not conclusive because this was an observation study and the number of patients was limited. Conclusions. Only a modest improvement in survival time after radical cystectomy has been observed in the last decade, despite the use of adjuvant treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. The pathologic (pT) classification is the most accurate prognostic indicator. Clinical errors in classification are common and impair the evaluation of neoadjuvant treatments. A high incidence of invasive tumors of greater extent than pT1 was found among patients with clinical cTis; this supports an aggressive approach when these patients do not respond promptly to intravesical chemotherapy. Prospective randomized studies are needed to evaluate objectively the benefit of perioperative adjuvant treatment in locally advanced transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1926-1931
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • bladder cancer
  • carcinoma in situ
  • chemotherapy
  • cystectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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