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Cancer. 1996 Jan 15;77(2):344-51.

Comparison between a cisplatin-containing regimen and a carboplatin-containing regimen for recurrent or metastatic bladder cancer patients. A randomized phase II study.

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  • 1Medical Oncology Division, University of Siena, Italy.



The aim of this randomized Phase II study was to compare the efficacy and toxicity of a cisplatin-containing regimen with a carboplatin-containing regimen for patients with recurrent or metastatic bladder cancer.


Fifty-seven patients with recurrent or metastatic bladder cancer were randomized to receive M-VEC treatment (methotrexate, vinblastine, epirubicin, and cisplatin) (n = 29) or M-VECa treatment (methotrexate, vinblastine, epirubicin, and carboplatin) (n = 28). The chemotherapy was scheduled at 28-day intervals. Recombinant granulocyte-colony stimulating factors were administered daily when the absolute neutrophil count fell below 1000/mm3. The development of ototoxicity was evaluated by measuring auditory brain stem response.


Of the 57 entered patients, 55 were evaluable for response and toxicity. The overall clinical response rate was 71% (with 25% complete responses) in the M-VEC group and 41% (with 11% complete responses) in the M-VECa group (P = 0.04). M-VEC chemotherapy was associated with more pronounced side effects. There was a statistically significant difference between M-VEC and M-VECa in terms of gastrointestinal toxicity (P = 0.04), nephrotoxicity (P = 0.03), and neurotoxicity (P = 0.02) during Cycle 3 of chemotherapy. Leukopenia and neutropenia were worse in the M-VECa arm, but not significantly so (P = 0.4). Ototoxicity was only detected in one of seven examined M-VEC patients after two cycles of chemotherapy.


M-VECa has a low level of gastrointestinal, renal, neurologic, and otologic toxicity, but is apparently less effective than M-VEC in the treatment of recurrent or metastatic bladder cancer. However, a larger, randomized Phase III trial is needed to confirm these results.

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