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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2012 Jun;12(6):733-41. doi: 10.1586/era.12.52.

Minimally invasive cystectomy approaches in the treatment of bladder cancer.

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The Urology Center, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, London, UK.


Bladder cancer is the most frequently occurring tumor of the urinary system, with over 10,000 new diagnoses each year in the UK. Approximately 70% of these are non-muscle-invasive and limited to the mucosa (Ta) or submucosa (T1). These tumors are generally managed with transurethral resection followed by adjuvant intravesical chemo- or immuno-therapy and regular cystoscopic surveillance. The principal end points in the management of these tumors are prevention of recurrence and progression. Muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a life-threatening disease with overall 5-year mortality of 50%. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, where possible followed by radical surgery, is currently considered the best standard of care. Open radical cystectomy is the gold-standard treatment for muscle-invasive or high-risk non-muscle-invasive (multifocal or recurrence after intravesical therapy) bladder cancer. Historically, this procedure has carried significant morbidity, although mortality of open radical cystectomy has reduced to 1-2% owing to improvements in anesthesia and intensive care facilities. Over the last 15 years, minimally invasive techniques in radical cystectomy have evolved, with the aim of reducing morbidity. In this article, we review the development of laparoscopic radical cystectomy and robot-assisted radical cystectomy, along with current evidence on perioperative morbidity and medium-term oncological outcomes.

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