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Oncology. 2002;63(1):1-5.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with sequential methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil scheduling, epirubicin and cisplatin for locally advanced bladder cancer.

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Department of Urology, Niigata University School of Medicine, Niigata, Japan.



Transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder is moderately sensitive to chemotherapy. Notably, the methotrexate, doxorubicin, vinblastine and cisplatin regimen was found to produce a high overall response rate and a modest survival advantage. However, toxicity was significant and the therapy rarely results in long-term disease-free survival. In several clinical series, sequentially delivered methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil followed by leucovorin rescue in expectation of a biochemical modulation has a higher response rate.


The combination chemotherapy using sequential methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil scheduling, epirubicin and cisplatin (MFAP regimen) for locally advanced bladder cancer was evaluated in a neoadjuvant setting. Thirty-seven patients (32 males and 5 females) were enrolled in this study.


Six (16.2%) of the patients had complete responses and 26 (70.3%) had partial responses to the therapy amounting to a response rate of 86.5%. At follow-up, 10 of 13 patients (76.9%) who underwent bladder preservation had not developed muscle-invasive recurrence of the disease and kept their bladder. There is no statistical difference of the survival rate between the cystectomy group and the bladder preservation group (p = 0.86). Toxicity was relatively mild but with some severe myelotoxic effects.


MFAP represents an active regimen in the treatment of locally advanced bladder cancer with a moderate toxicity profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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