Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Invasive Bladder Cancer
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Neoadjuvant cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy is an established standard for resectable muscle-invasive bladder cancer, a disease with a pattern of predominantly distant and early recurrences. Pathologic complete remission appears to be an intermediate surrogate for survival when employing combination chemotherapy. Moreover, baseline host and tumor tissue studies may enable the discovery of biomarkers predictive of activity. The neoadjuvant setting also provides a window of opportunity to evaluate novel biologic agents or rational combinations of biologic agents to obtain a signal of biologic activity. The residual tumor after neoadjuvant therapy may be exploited to study the mechanism of action and resistance. Cisplatin-ineligible patients warrant the evaluation of tolerable neoadjuvant regimens. Given that bladder cancer is characterized by initial localized presentation in the vast majority of cases, the paradigm of neoadjuvant therapy may expedite the development of novel systemic agents.