The gold standard for managing muscle-invasive bladder cancer is radical cystectomy (RCE). The RCE is a treatment, which carries high burden of perioperative morbidity and mortality. As biomolecular markers make muscle-invasive high-grade bladder cancer (HGBC) an entity different from non-invasive papillary disease, we tested a hypothesis that alternative bladder preserving surgery (BPS) approaches, such as partial cystectomy and transurethral resection of the bladder would not compromise the oncological results of treating HGBC in selected patients.  Aim: To study the cancer specific survival of HGBC patients depending on the mode of surgical treatment – RCE, partial en-block cystectomy, and transurethral resection of the bladder in the practice of the Departments of Urology and Oncology of Bogomolets National Medical University, and to assess the prevalence of bladder sparing surgical management of HGBC in local practice as a part of trimodal treatment approach to bladder preservation. Materials and Methods: Retrospectively we studied the medical records of 3597 urothelial bladder cancer patients, of whom 346 (10%) had high-grade disease and who underwent surgical treatment in 2004-2017. All patients were studied with contact computed tomography of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, and biopsy of the tumor. Based on the results of the diagnostic workup the choice of surgical treatment between RCE, partial cystectomy and transurethral resection was made considering the size of the tumor, location of the tumor in the bladder in relation to the bladder neck, and technical and oncological feasibility of performing the bladder sparing surgery. Kaplan – Meier survival curves were built to compare the results of survival per cancer stage and type of surgical treatment. Survival data of the patients were collected from the cancer registry maintained at the Kyiv Municipal Clinical Oncological Center. Results of data analysis were controlled for confounding parameters, such as adjuvant treatment: perioperative radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Results: Median follow-up was 93 months (1-226 months). Males were 276 (80%). Average age at diagnosis was 62 ± 4.5 years. By the time of the study 61% of patients have died due to the progression of the disease. All patients with stage I disease (7% or 24 patients) were managed with bladder-sparing surgery. In muscle-invasive disease (309 patients), the RCE was performed in 109 (35.3%) patients, partial cystectomy was performed in 79 (25.6%) patients, and transurethral resection – in 121 (39.1%) patients. The overall 5-year survival of HGBC patients after radical surgical treatment (RCE/BPS) for stage I patients was 0%/83%, for stage II – 43%/58%, for stage III – 37%/42%, and for stage IV – 10%/40%. A total of 44 patients (12.7% of all treated, and 19.6% of treated with bladder sparing) received postoperative radiotherapy after bladder-sparing surgery. A total of 14 patients (4% of all treated) received postoperative chemotherapy. Conclusion: Bladder sparing surgery (partial en-block cystectomy, and transurethral resection of the bladder) in selected patients is not inferior to RCE in terms of cancer-specific survival when treating patients with HGBC of all stages. The bladder sparing surgery was performed in 64.7% of patients with high grade bladder cancer. Utilization of adjuvant treatment is low, 12.7% for postoperative radiotherapy, and 4% for perioperative chemotherapy.

Experimental oncology. 2019 Jun [Epub]

P G Yakovlev, D A Klyushin, R I Vereshchako

Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv 01601, Ukraine., Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv 01033, Ukraine.