The increasing use of intravesical therapies for stage T1 bladder cancer coincides with decreasing survival after cystectomy

Erica H. Lambert, Phillip M. Pierorazio, Carl A. Olsson, Mitchell C. Benson, James M. McKiernan, Steven Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Intravesical therapy (IVT), chemo and immunotherapy, has made conservative, bladder-sparing strategies a viable option for managing patients with high grade T1 bladder cancer. However, many of these patients will have recurrence and occasionally progression, questioning delayed intervention. This study examines the patterns of use of IVT in high-grade T1 bladder cancer and the subsequent impact on survival for patients ultimately proceeding to radical cystectomy (RC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 1990 and 2005, 104 patients were identified with T1 high-grade transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) and who underwent RC. Patients were divided into two groups; those having RC before 1998 (median year of surgery) and those after 1998. Trends in time from diagnosis to RC, courses of IVT, recurrence and pathological stage were analysed using two-sample t-tests with 95% confidence intervals. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine the disease-free and overall survival rates. RESULTS: Before 1998, 28 of 38 patients (74%) proceeded directly to RC with no IVT, vs 20 of 47 (43%) after 1998 (P = 0.004). The mean number of IVT courses per patient was 0.53 before 1998 and 1.2 afterward (P = 0.016). Patients who had RC before 1998 had a 69.7% disease-free survival at 5 years, vs 39.6% for those after 1998 (P = 0.05). CONCLUSION: In the past 15 years, our experience indicates that patients having RC for T1 high-grade TCC after 1998 were more likely to receive IVT. These same patients had a worsening disease-free survival. In very few other cancers has disease-free survival decreased over time. We postulate that the decrease in survival might be related to an increased use of IVT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-36
Number of pages4
JournalBJU International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder cancer
  • Cystectomy
  • Disease-free survival
  • T1 transitional cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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