Objective To analyze trends in perioperative chemotherapy and optimize use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer. Methods From 2005-2012, 284 consecutive patients underwent robot-assisted radical cystectomy at our facility. Patients with disease ≥T2 and nodal involvement and positive surgical margins were reviewed and considered candidates for referral to medical oncology for chemotherapy. The study was conducted in two phases: phase 1 included 242 consecutive patients between 2005 and 2011, and phase 2 analyzed the effect of changes in 42 patients during a 1-year period (2011-2012). Results In phase 1, 148 patients (61%) were candidates for neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Consultation for NAC was sought for 44 patients (29%), and 104 (71%) did not receive consultation. Of the 44 patients, 36% received NAC, 7% refused, 32% were recommended for immediate cystectomy, and 25% did not receive NAC for other reasons. Phase 2 was more stringent, with a multidisciplinary approach. Significant improvement in referral and NAC use was seen. About 78% vs 30% of patients were seen by medical oncology for consideration of NAC before robot-assisted radical cystectomy and 71% vs 36% received NAC compared with phase 1. The NAC utilization rate improved from 10.8% to 55% over 1 year with a diligent multidisciplinary approach. Medical comorbidities were the main reason for patients not receiveing adjuvant chemotherapy (AC; 30% and 33%). Conclusion A multidisciplinary approach and coordination of services can help optimize the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer.
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