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World J Urol. 2012 Dec;30(6):795-9. doi: 10.1007/s00345-012-0855-8. Epub 2012 Mar 25.

Downstaging to non-invasive urothelial carcinoma is associated with improved outcome following radical cystectomy for patients with cT2 disease.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Mayo Medical School and Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street Southwest, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Pathologic stage is a critically important prognostic factor after radical cystectomy (RC) that is used to guide the use of secondary therapies. However, the risk of disease recurrence, for patients clinically diagnosed with muscle-invasive tumors who are found not to have muscle-invasive disease at RC are poorly defined. Therefore, we reviewed the long-term outcomes in patients who were downstaged to non-invasive urothelial carcinoma at time of RC.


We identified 1,177 consecutive patients with muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder who underwent radical cystectomy at our institution between 1980 and 1999 without neoadjuvant therapy. Postoperative disease recurrence and survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log rank test. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to analyze the impact of pathologic stage on survival.


Pathologic downstaging to non-muscle invasive disease was identified in 538 (45.7 %) patients. The 10-year cancer-specific survival was 84.1, 77.4, 71.1 and 58.5 % for those with pT0, pTis, pT1 and pT2 tumors, respectively. On multivariate analysis, the risk of cancer-specific mortality was significantly decreased for patients with non-muscle invasive disease than those with organ-confined muscle invasion (RR-0.39; p = 0.002). There was no difference in disease-specific mortality among patients who had non-invasive (pT0, pTa, or pTis) disease (p = 0.19).


Downstaging from clinical muscle-invasive bladder cancer to non-muscle invasive disease at RC is associated with a significant reduction in cancer-specific mortality. However, even patients with residual non-muscle invasive disease may suffer disease recurrence and require continued surveillance after surgery.

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