Indexed on: 03 May '05Published on: 03 May '05Published in: International Journal of Clinical Oncology
We conducted a multiinstitutional analysis to clarify the clinical significance of perioperative chemotherapy, in invasive bladder cancers in Japan, and to identify the patient subpopulations who could benefit from perioperative chemotherapy.A total of 913 consecutive patients aged less than 80 years who underwent radical cystectomy for invasive bladder cancer from 1990 to 2000 at 32 Japanese hospitals were retrospectively analyzed. Median follow-up was 3.8 years (range, 0.1 to 11.8 years).In total, 341 patients (37.3%) were treated with perioperative chemotherapy, including neoadjuvant chemotherapy (n = 174), adjuvant chemotherapy (n = 114), or a combination of both chemotherapies (n = 53). With cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy, the MVAC (methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin) regimen was the one most frequently used for perioperative chemotherapy, but the average number of cycles was distinctly less than that in reported randomized trials. MEC (methotrexate, epirubicin, and cisplatin) chemotherapy had efficacy similar to that of the MVAC regimen. On analysis of patients stratified by stage, the overall survival of patients with adjuvant chemotherapy was significantly better than that of those without adjuvant chemotherapy, in patients with pT2b, pN0 or pT3, pN0 (P = 0.016 or 0.020, respectively), but adjuvant chemotherapy had no, or the opposite, effect on patients with pT2a, pN0, pT4, pN0, or pTany, pN+. On the other hand, neoadjuvant chemotherapy provided a statistically significant survival benefit only for patients with clinical T3N0 (P = 0.015). Of note, in the high-risk subgroup, the overall survival rate for patients with complete response (CR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy was significantly better than that of patients with partial response (PR) or no change (NC)/progressive disease (PD) (P = 0.043).In Japan, cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy has been the main modality adopted perioperatively for high-risk patients with radical cystectomy. This study's clinical results indicated that perioperative chemotherapy may improve survival in patients with T3N0 or pT2b/pT3, pN0 bladder cancer.