Objective To compare outcomes of patients with lymph node (LN)-positive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) treated with or without cisplatin-based combined adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after radical cystectomy (RC). Patients and Methods We retrospectively analysed 1523 patients with LN-positive UCB, who underwent RC with bilateral pelvic LN dissection. All patients had no evidence of disease after RC. AC was administered within 3 months. Competing-risks models were applied to compare UCB-related mortality. Results Of the 1523 patients, 874 (57.4%) received AC. The cumulative 1-, 2- and 5-year UCB-related mortality rates for all patients were 16%, 36% and 56%, respectively. Administration of AC was associated with an 18% relative reduction in the risk of UCB-related death (subhazard ratio 0.82, P = 0.005). The absolute reduction in mortality was 3.5% at 5 years. The positive effect of AC was detectable in patients aged ≤70 years, in women, in pT3-4 disease, and in those with a higher LN density and lymphovascular invasion. This study is limited by its retrospective and non-randomised design, selection bias, the absence of central pathological review and lack in standardisation of LN dissection and cisplatin-based protocols. Conclusion AC seems to reduce UCB-related mortality in patients with LN-positive UCB after RC. Younger patients, women and those with high-risk features such as pT3-4 disease, a higher LN density and lymphovascular invasion appear to benefit most. Appropriately powered prospective randomised trials are necessary to confirm these findings.
- adjuvant chemotherapy
- lymph node positive
- radical cystectomy
- urothelial carcinoma of bladder
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