Prognosis of early stage small cell bladder cancer is not always dismal.

Small cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCCB) is an extremely rare malignancy which is often associated with poor survival outcome. Literature reporting such disease is scarce. There is no standardised management. This retrospective audit examines a UK Cancer Centre's SCCB management and survival outcomes.

Histopathology database at Nottingham University Hospitals, UK, was used to identify patients diagnosed with SCCB from January 2008 to January 2016.

27 patients had confirmed diagnosis of SCCB. Mean age at diagnosis was 68.7 (range 37-90). 30% of the cases had pure small cell histology, while the rest were mixed histological subtype. Of the 12 patients with early stage disease (stage I and II), three had radical cystectomy and chemotherapy, six had both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, two had either radiotherapy or chemotherapy alone, and one declined active treatment. Of the 12 patients with advanced disease (stage III and IV), four had chemotherapy alone, four had both radiotherapy and chemotherapy and four was for best supportive care. 13 out of 16 patients who had chemotherapy received combination of carboplatin and etoposide. Patients with advanced stage disease had medial survival of 9 months (95% CI 3.9 to 14.1 months). The median survival for patients with early disease was not reached. There is significant difference in survival between early and late stage disease (p value 0.008, Log rank test).

Our results demonstrated a reasonable survival outcome in early stage SCCB patients. Radical multimodality treatment options should not be precluded in patients with early stage SCCB.

ESMO open. 2019 Nov 13*** epublish ***

Jun Hao Lim, Santhanam Sundar

Clinical Oncology, Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.