Bladder preservation strategy based on combined therapy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer: Management and results at long-term follow-up

Humberto Villavicencio, Oscar Rodriguez Faba, Joan Palou, Luis Gausa, Ferran Algaba, Eugenio Marcuello

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate a bladder preservation strategy in patients with either muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) or development of MIBC cancer due to progression of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Methods: Between October 1982 and March 1998, 48 patients (mean age 61 years, range 45-75) with MIBC (T2a-b and T3a) were treated using transurethral resection followed by three cycles of systemic chemotherapy. 42 patients (87.5%) had primary MIBC and 6 (12.5%) had MIBC subsequent to NMIBC. After chemotherapy, 39 patients (81.25%) achieved complete remission and 4 (.3%) partial remission. Results: With a median follow-up of 98.5 months (13-246), the overall survival of the 48 patients was 62.6%. The cancer-specific survival (CSS) of the 39 patients with complete remission was 80.8%. Among the 39 patients with complete remission, 19 had invasive recurrence during follow-up with a CSS of 53.2%; by comparison, among patients with preserved bladders, CSS was 72.1% (p = 0.046). Predictive factors analysed were age, sex, tumour size >3 cm, grade, associated carcinoma in situ (CIS), number of tumours and number of previous recurrences. In multivariate analysis only tumour size and CIS were significant predictive factors for progression after preservation. Of the 6 patients with MIBC after NMIBC, 3 (50%) had no remission and underwent cystectomy and 15 patients (38.6%) had NMIBC recurrences during follow-up. CIS and high-grade tumours were treated with bacillus Calmette-Guérin. A bladder preservation rate of 81% and a CSS rate of 89% were obtained in the group with NMIBC recurrences. Conclusions: Conservative management of MIBC cancer is a feasible alternative to cystectomy in selected cases. Patients with MIBC after progression of primary NMIBC are not good candidates for a bladder preservation approach. NMIBC recurrences after bladder preservation in patients with MIBC respond to transurethral resection and bacillus Calmette-Guérin instillations. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-286
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • Bladder preservation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cystectomy
  • Transurethral resection


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