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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2010 Dec;10(12):1891-902. doi: 10.1586/era.10.183.

Optimal timing of radical cystectomy in T1 high-grade bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada. peter.j.bostrom@gmail.com


T1 high-grade (formerly T1G3) bladder cancer is a challenging clinical entity representing approximately 10-15% of all new bladder cancer cases. The variable natural history of the disease and possible impairment in quality of life associated with radical treatment makes T1 high-grade one of the most challenging uro-oncological patient groups to manage. In particular, the risk of clinical understaging and not recognizing muscle-invasive disease may have detrimental effects on patient outcome. The cornerstone of contemporary staging is restaging transurethral resection (TUR), which helps in defining further management. In patients with restaging TUR stage less than T1, induction bacillus Calmette-Guérin combined with maintenance offers good results. The option of radical cystectomy should be discussed with patients with restaging TUR stage T1 or higher and it is highly recommended to all patients with recurrent T1 of carcinoma in situ during bacillus Calmette-Guérin maintenance. In addition to restaging TUR stage, several other clinicopathological factors, such T1 substaging, associated carcinoma in situ, tumor size and appearance, lymphovascular invasion, and hydronephrosis, aid in the decision making between radical and conservative treatment. Future prospects include improved staging and molecular markers that may guide toward conservative therapy or allow more cT1 patients to be offered nerve-sparing cystectomies and neobladders and, thus, improving quality of life for patients undergoing radical surgery.

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