Planned preoperative cisplatin and radiation therapy for locally advanced bladder cancer
Cisplatin (DDP) is an active agent in the treatment of disseminated bladder cancer. In addition to its direct tumor cytotoxicity, recent animal and clinical data suggest synergism with radiation therapy (RT). Since improved survival with preoperative RT is largely restricted to bladder cancer patients in whom radiation-induced downstaging (P less than T) may be recognized, the authors administered DDP + RT preoperatively to patients with locally advanced (T3, T4) bladder tumors selected for cystectomy. The aim was to evaluate the feasibility of such a combination in relation to surgical and hematologic complications, the immediate effect on tumor downstaging, disease progression, and survival. Two thousand rad (400 rad X 5 days) was delivered to the whole pelvis, followed by cystectomy in 2 days. DDP (70 mg/m2) was given intravenously on day 2 of the RT. Twenty-four patients received preoperative DDP + RT and underwent attempted cystectomy; however, six patients were nonresectable owing to extensive pelvic disease, and an additional five patients had resectable pelvic lymph node metastases. Pelvic complications developed in 3 of 24 (12%) patients, but none required reoperation. No patient had a wound dehiscence. Transient myelosuppression was similar to that induced by 2000 rad preoperative RT alone. Tumor downstaging (P less than T) was seen in 9 of 24 (38%) patients, and in 5 (21%) patients, no tumor was found in the surgical specimen (P0). Distant metastases alone have been detected in 4 of 18 (22%) patients who had a cystectomy (all 4 had nodal metastases). Disease-free survival at a median follow-up of 22 months (range, 12-34 months) is 60% (14/24) for all patients (89% for P less than T and 40% for P greater than or equal to T patients) and 78% (14/18) for the resected patients. Combined preoperative DDP + RT proved to be a safe and feasible regimen which resulted in a possibly greater recognition of radioresponsive bladder tumors, and after cystectomy, an encouraging early survival rate in patients with locally advanced disease.