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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Dec 10;24(35):5536-44.

Trimodality treatment and selective organ preservation for bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Therapy, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.


Standard treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer is cystectomy. Trimodality treatment, including transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT), radiation therapy and chemotherapy, has been shown to produce survival rates comparable to those of cystectomy. With these programs, cystectomy has been reserved for patients with incomplete response or local relapse. During the past 15 years, organ preservation by trimodality treatment has been investigated in prospective series from single centers and cooperative groups, with more than 1,000 patients included. Five-year overall survival rates in the range of 50% to 60% have been reported, and approximately three quarters of the surviving patients maintained their bladder. Clinical criteria helpful in determining ideal patients for bladder preservation include early tumor stage (including high-risk T1 disease), a visibly complete TURBT, and absence of ureteral obstruction. Close coordination among all disciplines is required to achieve optimal results. Future investigations will focus on (1) optimizing radiation techniques and incorporating more effective systemic chemotherapy, and (2) the proper selection of patients based on molecular makers.

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