Multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of patients with small cell bladder carcinoma

L. T. MacEdo, J. Ribeiro, G. Curigliano, L. Fumagalli, M. Locatelli, J. B C Carvalheira, A. Quintela, S. Bertelli, O. De Cobelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCCUB) is considered to be a tumor with a neuroendocrine phenotype characterised by aggressive behaviour and poor prognosis. Small cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder comprises 0.35 to 1% of all bladder cancers and is frequently observed in combination with other histological subtypes of carcinoma. Clinical presentation is characterized by advanced stage at diagnosis and rapidly progressive disease. In daily clinical practice there is no gold standard for the management of patients affected by this disease. Treatment of patients with limited disease combines neoadjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy followed by specific local treatment of the primary tumour. Cystectomy or radiotherapy should be proposed on an individual basis. In the metastatic setting, prognosis remains poor with a potential benefit from chemotherapy containing platinum compounds. Treatment of small cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder is based on evidence obtained from case reports and retrospective analyses. Due to low disease frequency there is a lack of randomized trials to provide guidance as to optimal therapy. Thus, systemic and local approaches are extrapolated from the literature available for the treatment of small cell carcinomas at other (non-urological) sites. We provide an overview of the currently available literature with it's main focus on the treatment of either locally advanced or metastatic small cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-562
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Chemotherapy
  • Cystectomy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Small cell carcinoma
  • Urinary bladder neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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