Impact of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy on Pathologic Downstaging in Patients With Variant Histology Undergoing Radical Cystectomy.

Variant histology (VH) bladder cancer is often associated with poor outcomes and the role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) remains incompletely defined. Our objective was to determine comparative pathologic downstaging at radical cystectomy (RC) following NAC for patients with and without VH.

Patients who underwent RC at 2 tertiary referral centers (1996-2018) were included. Patients with VH (sarcomatoid, nested, micropapillary, plasmacytoid) were matched 1:2 to patients with pure urothelial carcinoma by age, sex, clinical T (cT)stage, clinical N (cN)stage, cystectomy year and receipt of NAC. The primary outcome was pathologic downstaging (pT-stage < cT-stage). The differential impact of NAC on pathologic downstaging between VH and non-VH was assessed using multivariable logistic regression with interaction analysis.

225 VH and 437 non-VH patients were included. One hundred twenty-eight of six hundred sixty-two (19.3%) patients experienced downstaging, including 54/121 (44.6%) patients who received NAC and 74/542 (13.2%) patients who did not (P < .01). Rates of downstaging after NAC for subgroups were: 45/78 (57.7%) urothelial, 3/8 (37.5%) sarcomatoid, 2/12 (16.7%) nested, 3/14 (21.4%) micropapillary, and 1/8 (12.5%) plasmacytoid. Collectively, 9/42 (21.4%) of VH patients who received NAC were downstaged. On multivariable analyses, NAC was associated with increased likelihood of downstaging in the overall cohort (OR 5.25, 95% CI, 3.29-8.36, P < .0001) and this effect was not modified by VH versus non-VH histology (P = .13 for interaction). VH patients had worse survival outcomes compared to non-VH (P < 0.01 for all).

When comparing patients with VH to matched pure urothelial carcinoma controls, VH did not have an adverse effect on downstaging following NAC. VH patients should not be excluded from NAC if otherwise eligible.

Clinical genitourinary cancer. 2023 Oct 26 [Epub ahead of print]

Rebecca A Campbell, Abhinav Khanna, Stephen A Boorjian, Jacob Knorr, Roni Cox, Marlo Nicholas, John Cheville, Vidit Sharma, Prithvi B Murthy, Robert Tarrell, Prabin Thapa, Matthew K Tollefson, R Houston Thompson, Igor Frank, R J Karnes, Georges Pascal Haber, Byron Lee

Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH., Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN., Department of Pathology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH., Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN., Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH. Electronic address: .