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J Clin Oncol. 1994 Jul;12(7):1394-401.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for invasive bladder cancer: prognostic factors for survival of patients treated with M-VAC with 5-year follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.



To determine survival in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and to analyze prechemotherapy and postchemotherapy factors for prognostic significance.


The survival of 111 patients with T2-4N0M0 bladder cancer treated with neoadjuvant methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (M-VAC) was assessed. Prechemotherapy and postchemotherapy factors were analyzed for correlation with survival. Factors found to be significant on univariate analysis were subjected to multivariate analysis using Cox's proportional hazards model.


The median follow-up duration was 5.3 years. Initial tumor (T) stage (P = .0001), presence of ureteral obstruction (P = .0074), and presence of a palpable mass (P = .0039) were the only pretreatment factors found to be significant on univariate analysis. Postchemotherapy surgery was performed in 81 patients. In these cases, postchemotherapy clinical stage and pathologic stage were significant factors on univariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis, the initial prechemotherapy T stage and the postchemotherapy pathologic stage (pT stage) were the only two factors to demonstrate independent significance. An association between downstaging postchemotherapy and survival was observed for patients with extravesical disease (T < or = 3B) at the start of treatment. In this subset, the 5-year survival rate was 54% for patients with downstaging versus 12% for those without downstaging. This association was not observed for patients with bladder-confined disease (T < or = 3A) at presentation.


The stage of bladder cancer at presentation and at postchemotherapy pathologic staging are independent prognostic factors for long-term survival in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Downstaging after neoadjuvant chemotherapy was associated with improved survival in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancers, but only for those with extravesical disease (T > or = 3B) pretreatment. Randomized comparisons will be required to assess the impact of chemotherapy on overall survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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