Perioperative and long-term functional and oncologic outcomes following radical cystectomy (RC) for localized bladder cancer remain unchanged despite advances in technique and perioperative management, as well as neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy. Accurate assessment of a patient’s perioperative risk is critical to inform preoperative counseling and determine a patient’s fitness for RC.

To review and synthesize conventional and novel objective patient-specific risk assessment tools that may be incorporated into clinical practice for perioperative risk prognostication with respect to both postoperative complications and long-term oncologic outcomes, patient counseling, and decision-making when RC is being considered.

A collaborative review was performed to synthesize currently available evidence on comorbidity, age, body composition, nutrition, frailty, and geriatric assessments for patients undergoing RC.

Current guidelines recommend that pre-RC risk assessment should take into account age, performance status, and comorbidity. However, conventional comorbidity indices perform inconsistently in accurate assessment of the risk of perioperative complications, prolonged rehabilitation, and long-term oncologic outcomes. Novel metrics including standardized assessments of dependency, comorbidity severity, sarcopenia, malnutrition, physical and cognitive frailty, and comprehensive geriatric assessments may offer more precise estimates of physiologic age and relative vulnerability to adverse outcomes following RC.

Perioperative risk assessment before RC should incorporate objective measures of physiologic age, physical function, nutrition, lean muscularity, and frailty. The use of standardized multidimensional instruments should be encouraged for patients undergoing consideration for RC to identify potentially modifiable risk factors that can be targeted with prehabilitation interventions. Future work is needed to validate the performance of these metrics with respect to predicting perioperative complications and oncologic outcomes and to define and assess the effectiveness of specific prehabilitation interventions to optimize patients before surgery.

We review several metrics that doctors can use to measure the risks associated with bladder removal, a major surgical procedure. Moving beyond evaluating a patient’s age, the burden of other health problems, and surgeon intuition, these tools may be used to counsel patients regarding their surgical risk, to predict oncologic outcomes, and to help identify potential interventions to improve surgical readiness.

European urology oncology. 2018 Jun 19 [Epub]

Sarah P Psutka, Daniel A Barocas, James W F Catto, John L Gore, Cheryl T Lee, Todd M Morgan, Viraj A Master, Andrea Necchi, Morgan Rouprêt, Stephen A Boorjian

Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL, USA; Department of Urology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: ., Department of Urologic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA; Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA., Academic Units of Urology and Molecular Oncology, Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK., University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA., Department of Urology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA., Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Department of Urology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA., Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto dei Tumori, Milan, Italy., Department of Urology, Sorbonne Université, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Paris, Paris, France., Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.