Chemotherapy for Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: Better Late Than Never?

Guru Sonpavde, Jennifer B Gordetsky, Mark E Lockhart, Jeffrey W Nix
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016 March 10, 34 (8): 780-5
The Oncology Grand Rounds series is designed to place original reports published in the Journal into clinical context. A case presentation is followed by a description of diagnostic and management challenges, a review of the relevant literature, and a summary of the authors' suggested management approaches. The goal of this series is to help readers better understand how to apply the results of key studies, including those published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, to patients seen in their own clinical practice.A 64-year-old man with a history of cigarette smoking but no significant comorbidities presented with hematuria and dysuria. Computed tomography scans demonstrated a mass and thickening of the bladder wall and no evidence of metastasis. His laboratory evaluation showed normal blood cell counts and comprehensive metabolic panel with a calculated creatinine clearance of more than 60 mL per minute. A transurethral resection of the bladder tumor and biopsy identified transitional cell carcinoma or urothelial carcinoma invading the muscularis propria of the bladder. On the basis of the bladder-confined mass on computed tomography scan, the tumor was assigned a clinical stage of cT2N0. The patient was advised to undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy (RC). The patient had multiple concerns regarding neoadjuvant chemotherapy, particularly toxicities, especially the possibility of chronic neurologic and renal toxicities, and the potential harm from delay of RC, especially if the bladder cancer was resistant to chemotherapy. After a discussion of approximately 1 hour, he elected to proceed with upfront RC and extended lymph node dissection in conjunction with construction of a neobladder. Pathology revealed pathologic extravesical urothelial carcinoma, with disease in one of 25 lymph nodes removed (ypT3N1). Four weeks after RC, he returned to discuss further management with the medical oncologist. He exhibited an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0, normal blood cell counts, and a calculated creatinine clearance of more than 60 mL per minute.

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