Methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin for advanced transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium: Efficacy and patterns of response and relapse
Of 133 patients with advanced urothelial tract cancer given methotrexate (MTX), vinblastine (VBL), Adriamycin (ADR) (doxorubicin; Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH), and cisplatin (DDP) (M-VAC regimen), significant tumor regression occurred in 72% +/- 8% of 121 with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) evaluable for response. Complete remission (CR) was achieved in 36% +/- 9% of patients, of whom 11% required the addition of surgical resection of residual disease. Although 68% of CR patients have relapsed, CR median survival will exceed 38 months compared with 11 months for partial (36%) and minor (6%) responders, and 8 months for nonresponders: 2-year and 3-year survivals were 68% and 55%, respectively, versus 0% to 7% for the remaining patients. Sixteen percent of responders developed brain lesions, half of whom had no systemic relapse at the time of progression. Three patients with non-TCC histologies did not respond. In 32 patients who had pathologic restaging, the clinical (T) understaging (T less than pathologic [P] restaging) error was 35%. Although all metastatic sites showed evidence of tumor regression, CR was noted more frequently in lung, in intraabdominal lymph nodes and masses, and in bone (24% to 35%); the rate for hepatic lesions was 15%. There were 52% of 21 N3-4M0 patients who achieved CR versus 33% of 100 with N0-+M+ lesions. Toxicity was significant with 4 (3%) drug-related deaths, 25% incidence of nadir sepsis, 58% greater than or equal to 3+ myelosuppression, and 49% with mucositis. Responsiveness of metastasis in various sites, patterns of relapse, and the usefulness of the new CR response criteria are reported, as is the current status of cisplatin and methotrexate combination regimens.