Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 2715–2722 | Cite as

Blood Transfusion is Associated with Increased Perioperative Morbidity and Adverse Oncologic Outcomes in Bladder Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Radical Cystectomy

  • Heather J. Chalfin
  • Jen-Jane Liu
  • Nilay Gandhi
  • Zhaoyong Feng
  • Daniel Johnson
  • George J. Netto
  • Charles G. Drake
  • Noah M. Hahn
  • Mark P. Schoenberg
  • Bruce J. Trock
  • Andrew V. Scott
  • Steven M. Frank
  • Trinity J. Bivalacqua
Urologic Oncology



Perioperative blood transfusion (PBT) has been inconsistently associated with adverse outcomes. Bladder cancer patients are unique as they frequently undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) with resulting immunosuppression, which may be exacerbated by transfusion-related immunomodulation. We examined the effect of leukoreduced PBT on oncologic outcomes and perioperative morbidity in radical cystectomy (RC) patients who received NAC, quantifying exposure with a novel dose-index variable.


The Johns Hopkins Radical Cystectomy database was queried for patients who had undergone NAC followed by RC from 2010 to 2013. Overall, 119 patients had available PBT and survival data. A multivariable Cox model evaluated risk factors, including pathologic stage, Charlson Comorbidity Index, age, race, year of surgery, surgical margin status, PBT, and preoperative hemoglobin for bladder cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS). Logistic regression models determined factors that were independently associated with perioperative morbidity.


Median follow-up was 7.8 months (range 0.2–41.8), and during follow-up there were 25 deaths and 21 cancer deaths. PBT significantly predicted OS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.26, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.07–1.49; p = 0.005), CSS (HR 1.32, 95 % CI 1.11–1.57; p = 0.002), and morbidity (odds ratio [OR] 1.67, 95 % CI 1.26–2.21; p = 0.004) in univariate analyses. In multivariable models, PBT was significantly associated with morbidity (OR 1.77, 95 % CI 1.30–2.39; p = 0.0002), but not OS or CSS. Intraoperative transfusion was associated with decreased OS and CSS, and increased morbidity, whereas postoperative transfusion was only associated with increased morbidity.


Intraoperative blood transfusion was associated with increased perioperative morbidity and worsened OS and CSS in patients undergoing RC who had NAC. Although PBT may be life-saving in certain patients, a restrictive transfusion strategy may improve outcomes.


Overall Survival Bladder Cancer Charlson Comorbidity Index National Comprehensive Cancer Network Radical Cystectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Trinity J. Bivalacqua received a grant from the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute.


Noah M. Hahn has undertaken bladder cancer consulting for Merck, Oncogenex, and BMS, and has received research funding from Oncogenex, Novartis, and Mirati. Bruce J. Trock was an expert witness for Rochon Genova, LLP, to interpret studies of bladder cancer. Charles G. Drake was a Bristol–Myers Squibb immunology consultant, received research support, and was a Pfizer, Co-Stimm, and Dentron immunology/oncology consultant. Trinity J. Bivalacqua was a consultant for TARIS Biomedical, and received grants from the National Institutes of Health, AUA Care Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute. Heather J. Chalfin, Jen-Jane Liu, Nilay Gandhi, Zhaoyong Feng, Daniel Johnson, George J. Netto, Mark P. Schoenberg, Andrew V. Scott, and Steven M. Frank declare that they have no conflict of interest relevant to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather J. Chalfin
    • 1
  • Jen-Jane Liu
    • 1
  • Nilay Gandhi
    • 1
  • Zhaoyong Feng
    • 1
  • Daniel Johnson
    • 1
  • George J. Netto
    • 1
  • Charles G. Drake
    • 1
  • Noah M. Hahn
    • 1
  • Mark P. Schoenberg
    • 1
  • Bruce J. Trock
    • 1
  • Andrew V. Scott
    • 1
  • Steven M. Frank
    • 1
  • Trinity J. Bivalacqua
    • 1
  1. 1.James Buchanan Brady Urological InstituteThe Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA

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