Downstaging to non-invasive urothelial carcinoma is associated with improved outcome following radical cystectomy for patients with cT2 disease
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Pathologic stage is a critically important prognostic factor after radical cystectomy (RC) that is used to guide the use of secondary therapies. However, the risk of disease recurrence, for patients clinically diagnosed with muscle-invasive tumors who are found not to have muscle-invasive disease at RC are poorly defined. Therefore, we reviewed the long-term outcomes in patients who were downstaged to non-invasive urothelial carcinoma at time of RC.
We identified 1,177 consecutive patients with muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder who underwent radical cystectomy at our institution between 1980 and 1999 without neoadjuvant therapy. Postoperative disease recurrence and survival were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method and compared using the log rank test. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to analyze the impact of pathologic stage on survival.
Pathologic downstaging to non-muscle invasive disease was identified in 538 (45.7 %) patients. The 10-year cancer-specific survival was 84.1, 77.4, 71.1 and 58.5 % for those with pT0, pTis, pT1 and pT2 tumors, respectively. On multivariate analysis, the risk of cancer-specific mortality was significantly decreased for patients with non-muscle invasive disease than those with organ-confined muscle invasion (RR−0.39; p = 0.002). There was no difference in disease-specific mortality among patients who had non-invasive (pT0, pTa, or pTis) disease (p = 0.19).
Downstaging from clinical muscle-invasive bladder cancer to non-muscle invasive disease at RC is associated with a significant reduction in cancer-specific mortality. However, even patients with residual non-muscle invasive disease may suffer disease recurrence and require continued surveillance after surgery.