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Urology. 2007 Jan;69(1 Suppl):62-79.

Chemotherapy for bladder cancer: treatment guidelines for neoadjuvant chemotherapy, bladder preservation, adjuvant chemotherapy, and metastatic cancer.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy. cstern@mclink.it


To determine the optimal use of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and metastatic setting in patients with advanced urothelial cell carcinoma, a consensus conference was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Société Internationale d'Urologie (SIU) to critically review the published literature on chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced bladder cancer. This article reports the development of international guidelines for the treatment of patients with locally advanced bladder cancer with neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy. Bladder preservation is also discussed, as is chemotherapy for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer. The conference panel consisted of 10 medical oncologists and urologists from 3 continents who are experts in this field and who reviewed the English-language literature through October 2004. Relevant English-language literature was identified with the use of Medline; additional cited works not detected on the initial search regarding neoadjuvant chemotherapy, bladder preservation, adjuvant chemotherapy, and chemotherapy for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer were reviewed. Evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis and management of the disease were made with reference to a 4-point scale. Results of the authors' deliberations are presented as a consensus document. Meta-analysis of randomized trials on cisplatin-containing combination neoadjuvant chemotherapy revealed a 5% difference in favor of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. No randomized trials have yet compared survival with transurethral resection of bladder tumor alone versus cystectomy for the management of patients with muscle-invasive disease. Collaborative international adjuvant chemotherapy trials are needed to assist researchers in assessing the true value of adjuvant chemotherapy. Systemic cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy is the only current modality that has been shown in phase 3 trials to improve survival in responsive patients with advanced urothelial cancer. A panel of international experts has formulated grade A through D recommendations for the management of patients with locally advanced and metastatic urothelial cancer on the basis of level 1 to 3 evidence and the findings of phase 2 trials, prospective randomized clinical trials, and meta-analyses.

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