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BJU Int. 2011 Mar;107(6):898-904. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.09628.x. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Discrepancy between clinical and pathological stage: external validation of the impact on prognosis in an international radical cystectomy cohort.

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University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.



• To compare the clinical and pathologic stage among a large, multi-institutional series of patients undergoing radical and to determine the effect of stage discrepancy on outcomes.


• Data was collected from nine centers and 3,393 patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) treated with radical cystectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy without neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. • A retrospective cohort design was used to assess the percentage of patients experiencing stage discrepancy and the impact of stage discrepancy on time to disease relapse and time to death from UCB.


• Clinical under staging occurred in 50% of patients and pathologic down staging occurred in 18% of patients. • Up staging to muscle invasive disease occurred in 45.9% (n = 592) of 1,291 patients with clinical ≤T1, including 30.6% of patients with Tis only at transurethral resection. • Of the 3,166 patients with clinically organ confined (OC) tumor stage, 1,357 (42.9%) were up staged to non-organ confined pathologic tumor stage. • Within each clinical stage stratum, patients who were clinically under staged had a higher probability of disease relapse or death from UCB compared to those who were same staged or down staged on pathologic examination (P < 0.05).


• We identified clinical under staging in half of the patients undergoing radical cystectomy for UCB. • Up staging resulted in a higher likelihood of disease progression and eventual death from UCB. • These findings should be considered when utilizing pre-operative risk-adapted strategies for selecting candidates for neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

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