The impact of pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy on conditional survival among patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Achieving a pathologic complete response (pCR) with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) is associated with a favorable prognosis. Patients with pathologic residual disease (pRD) generally have poor outcomes.

However, prognosis after radical cystectomy (RC) improves with ongoing survivorship. Our objective was to determine whether the difference in prognosis of patients with pCR and pRD changes over time.

We queried the National Cancer Database for patients who received NAC and RC for localized MIBC (cT2-T4aN0M0) between 1998 and 2012. pCR was defined as ≤Tis disease. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate conditional survival to 5 years given survival to 1, 2, 3, and 4 years post-RC. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to estimate the effect of pRD vs. pCR on overall survival.

The cohort comprised 1,553 patients (pCR: 314 and pRD: 1,239). With median follow-up 2.65 years (range 0.01-9.97), median survival was 2.5 years (95% confidence interval 2.2-2.9) and not reached for pRD and pCR, respectively. All patients had improved conditional survival with each additional year of survivorship. Patients with pCR had improved overall survival relative to those with pRD. The effect of pRD vs. pCR on conditional survival did not differ over time (P = 0.7).

MIBC patients with pCR after NAC have improved conditional survival relative to those with pRD post-RC. This survival advantage does not significantly change over time. These findings may inform patient counseling, surveillance intensity, and novel adjuvant approaches for patients with pRD.

Urologic oncology. 2019 May 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Nikhil Waingankar, Rachel Jia, Kathryn E Marqueen, Francois Audenet, John P Sfakianos, Reza Mehrazin, Bart S Ferket, Madhu Mazumdar, Matthew D Galsky

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Icahn School of Medicine, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY. Electronic address: ., Icahn School of Medicine, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY.