Survival of patients with advanced urothelial cancer treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Carcinoma, Transitional Cell
The aim of the present retrospective study was to assess long-term survival after cisplatin-based chemotherapy in 398 patients with advanced urothelial transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) treated at seven international oncological units. Various combinations of cisplatin, methotrexate, vinblastine (or vincristine) and doxorubicin were used. The complete response rate according to the WHO criteria was 17%. Partial responses were obtained in 42% of the patients. The overall cancer-related 2 year and 5 year survival rates were 21% and 11% respectively. Based on multivariate analyses, a good prognosis group could be identified comprising patients with a good performance status with disease confined to lymph nodes (14%) or patients with T4b disease only. These patients had a 28% 5 year survival rate, which, in part, has to be related to post-chemotherapy consolidation treatment in patients with pelvis-confined disease (radiotherapy, 26%; total cystectomy, 11%). Fifteen patients died of chemotherapy-related complications and in 16% of the patients toxicity led to discontinuation of treatment. Modern cisplatin-based chemotherapy leads to long-term survival and cure of selected patients with advanced urothelial transitional cancer. In routine clinical practice, chemotherapy should be offered to good prognosis patients; those presenting with a good performance status and a non-metastasising T4b tumour or with metastases confined to lymph nodes. Post-chemotherapy consolidation treatment by surgery or radiotherapy should always be considered. Such chemotherapy requires oncological expertise in order to avoid unnecessary toxicity.