The natural history of untreated muscle-invasive bladder cancer

Alberto Martini, John P Sfakianos, Lotta Renström-Koskela, Ashkan Mortezavi, Ugo G Falagario, Lars Egevad, Abolfazal Hosseini, Reza Mehrazin, Matthew D Galsky, Gunnar Steineck, N Peter Wiklund
BJU International 2019 July 16

OBJECTIVE: To describe the natural history of untreated muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) and compare the oncological outcomes of treated and untreated patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We utilised a database encompassing all patients with newly diagnosed bladder cancer in Stockholm, Sweden between 1995 and 1996. The median follow-up for survivors was 14.4 years. Overall, 538 patients were diagnosed with bladder cancer of whom 126 had clinically localised MIBC. Patients were divided into two groups: those who received radical cystectomy or radiation therapy, and those who did not receive any form of treatment. Multivariable Cox or competing-risks regressions were adopted to predict metastasis, overall survival (OS), and cancer-specific mortality (CSM), when appropriate. Analyses were adjusted for age at diagnosis, sex, tumour stage, clinical N stage, and treatment.

RESULTS: In all, 64 (51%) patients did not receive any definitive local treatment. In the untreated group, the median (interquartile range) age at diagnosis was 79 (63-83) vs 69 (63-74) years in the treated group (P < 0.001). Overall, 109 patients died during follow-up. At 6 months after diagnosis, 38% of the untreated patients had developed metastatic disease and 41% had CSM. The 5-year OS rate for untreated and treated patients was 5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1, 12%) vs 48% (95% CI 36, 60%), respectively. Patients not receiving any treatment had a 5-year cumulative incidence of CSM of 86% (95% CI 75, 94%) vs 48% (95% CI 36, 60%) for treated patients. Untreated patients had a higher risk of progression to metastatic disease (hazard ratio [HR] 2.40, 95% CI 1.28, 4.51; P = 0.006), death from any cause (HR 2.63, 95% CI 1.65, 4.19; P < 0.001) and CSM (subdistribution HR 2.02, 95% CI 1.24, 3.30; P = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS: Untreated patients with MIBC are at very high risk of near-term CSM. These findings may help balance the risks vs benefits of integrating curative intent therapy particularly in older patients with MIBC.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"