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World J Urol. 2009 Feb;27(1):101-6. doi: 10.1007/s00345-008-0304-x. Epub 2008 Jul 8.

Long-term survival after sequential chemoradiation for limited disease small cell carcinoma of the bladder.

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Department of Urology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066, CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To evaluate response, time to progression and survival of patients with limited disease (LD) small cell carcinoma of the bladder (SCCB) treated with sequential chemoradiation in analogy to LD small cell lung cancer (SCLC).


Of 42 patients with SCCB treated at our institution between 1993 and 2007, 17 with LD SCCB treated with chemoradiation were identified and retrospectively analysed. LD was defined as any pT, cN0-1, cM0. SCCB was defined according to WHO criteria. All patients had platinum-based chemotherapy after transurethral resection (TUR) prior to local radiotherapy with 56-70 Gy.


Sixteen patients were male, 1 female. Median age was 62 years. Median overall survival is 32.5 months. All had a clinical local response (15 CR, 2 PR). Systemic progression occurred in 8 (47%) with a median time to progression of 6 months (range 1-16 months), 8 died with a median survival of 17.5 months. Currently, 7 are free of disease (FOD) including 2 at 80 and 87 months. Four (23.5%) had a local recurrence as late as 43 and 50 months; 3 required a salvage cystectomy.


Clinical results of sequential chemoradiation for LD SCCB are comparable to contemporary series of LD SCCB treated with cystectomy and upfront or adjuvant chemotherapy. Long-term survival of more than 5 years after chemoradiation can be achieved. The risk of local recurrence is lower than reported, but late recurrences occur. These data suggest that bladder sparing with systemic chemotherapy and local control by radiotherapy should be further investigated in this aggressive disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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