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Urol Oncol. 2009 Jul-Aug;27(4):435-42. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2009.01.012.

Candidate quality of care indicators for localized bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The surgical management of clinically localized bladder cancer is challenging, and the quality of care delivered to patients with bladder cancer is a subject of increasing interest. Multiple large studies have examined the association between surgical volume and outcomes after radical cystectomy. These studies generally find lower mortality and complication rates at high-volume centers, though interpretation of the data must be tempered by limitations of the datasets driving the studies. Benefits of regionalization of care also must be weighed against other measures proven to predict outcomes; a delay in time to cystectomy beyond 3 months, for example, is strongly associated with increased mortality. Other candidate process measures supported by existing literature include adequacy of lymphadenectomy as measured by nodal yield and availability or offering of orthotopic diversion when appropriate. Assessment and reporting of bladder cancer outcomes should be risk adjusted based on oncologic risk factors and patient comorbid illness. Perioperative morbidity and mortality, cause-specific survival, and overall survival are all key measures. Assessment of health-related quality of life after bladder cancer treatment should also be standardized for reporting. Multiple survey instruments have been developed in recent years, but none has yet been well validated or widely adopted. In particular, capturing variation in quality of life outcomes between patients undergoing bladder-sparing protocols vs. continent diversion vs. incontinent diversion is an important but difficult goal that has not yet been met. The urologic oncology community should take a strong lead in achieving consensus regarding the definition, assessment, and reporting of quality of care data for bladder cancer.

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