The Role of Adjuvant Radiation Therapy in Locally Advanced Bladder Cancer

The standard of care for locally advanced bladder cancer (LABC) is neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by cystectomy. However, the role of adjuvant therapy for locally advanced bladder cancer is unclear.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) for patients with LABC, and to determine which risk factors best predict for patients who may best benefit from adjuvant RT.

The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) was queried (2004- 2013) for patients with newly-diagnosed pT3-4N0-3M0 urothelial carcinoma of the bladder that received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and cystectomy. Patients were divided into two groups based on the adjuvant therapy they received: RT or observation. Statistics included multivariable logistic regression to determine factors predictive of receiving adjuvant RT, Kaplan-Meier analysis to evaluate overall survival (OS), and Cox proportional hazards modeling to determine variables associated with OS.

Altogether, 1,646 patients met inclusion criteria; 59 (3.6%) patients received adjuvant RT, while 1,587 (96.4%) were observed. Patients treated with adjuvant RT were more likely to be female, have positive surgical margins, and receive treatment at a non-academic facility. There was no difference in median overall survival (OS) between patients treated with RT when compared to patients observed (17.7 months vs. 23.5 months; p = 0.085). However, an improvement in median OS with the use of adjuvant RT was observed among patients with positive surgical margins (20.3 months vs. 13.1 months; p = 0.032). On multivariate analysis, advancing age, pT4 stage, positive N stage, positive margins, and lower socioeconomic status were associated with worse OS.

In the largest study to date evaluating efficacy of adjuvant radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced bladder cancer, use of RT was not associated with OS in all patients, while RT was associated with improvemed OS among patients with positive surgical margins. Prospective studies are recommended to confirm these findings.

Bladder cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2018 Apr 26*** epublish ***

Gary D Lewis, Waqar Haque, Vivek Verma, E Brian Butler, Bin S Teh

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA., Department of Radiation Oncology, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Radiation Oncology, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.