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Is there a role for metastasis-directed therapy in bladder cancer?

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article aims to comprehensively review and critique the existing literature on the role of metastatic-directed therapy in patients with metastatic bladder cancer, particularly in oligometastatic disease state.

RECENT FINDINGS: The role of metastasectomy in metastatic bladder cancer is still controversial. Several studies have demonstrated improved outcomes, particularly in a highly selected patients with small metastatic lesions or with lung or brain metastases, whereas others show no significant survival benefit. Combining metastasectomy with systemic therapies, such as immunotherapy and chemotherapy, has also shown benefits. Metastasis-directed radiotherapy is evolving as a potentially effective approach with minimal toxicity in achieving local control and improving survival, particularly in patients with oligometastatic disease. The evidence regarding the impact of several factors such as performance status, metastatic burden, and the presence of visceral metastases on outcomes is mixed. Concurrent treatment with systemic therapy may potentiate the effectiveness of metastasis-directed therapy.

SUMMARY: In patients with metastatic deposits amenable to surgical resection, metastasectomy stands as a promising avenue. Metastatic-directed radiotherapy has demonstrated local control and improved survival in the evolving landscape of oligometastatic bladder cancer management. Further, well designed multicenter prospective studies are needed to support these findings and better understand the synergy between radiotherapy and systemic treatments, especially immunotherapy.

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