BACKGROUND:Radiotherapy is an alternative to cystectomy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
In other disease sites, synchronous chemoradiotherapy has been associated with increased local control and improved survival, as compared with radiotherapy alone.
METHODS:In this multicenter, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 360 patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer to undergo radiotherapy with or without synchronous chemotherapy. The regimen consisted of fluorouracil (500 mg per square meter of body-surface area per day) during fractions 1 to 5 and 16 to 20 of radiotherapy and mitomycin C (12 mg per square meter) on day 1. Patients were also randomly assigned to undergo either whole-bladder radiotherapy or modified-volume radiotherapy (in which the volume of bladder receiving full-dose radiotherapy was reduced) in a partial 2-by-2 factorial design (results not reported here). The primary end point was survival free of locoregional disease. Secondary end points included overall survival and toxic effects.
RESULTS:At 2 years, rates of locoregional disease-free survival were 67% (95% confidence interval [CI], 59 to 74) in the chemoradiotherapy group and 54% (95% CI, 46 to 62) in the radiotherapy group. With a median follow-up of 69.9 months, the hazard ratio in the chemoradiotherapy group was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.48 to 0.96; P=0.03). Five-year rates of overall survival were 48% (95% CI, 40 to 55) in the chemoradiotherapy group and 35% (95% CI, 28 to 43) in the radiotherapy group (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.63 to 1.09; P=0.16). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were slightly more common in the chemoradiotherapy group than in the radiotherapy group during treatment (36.0% vs. 27.5%, P=0.07) but not during follow-up (8.3% vs. 15.7%, P=0.07).
CONCLUSIONS: Synchronous chemotherapy with fluorouracil and mitomycin C combined with radiotherapy significantly improved locoregional control of bladder cancer, as compared with radiotherapy alone, with no significant increase in adverse events.
James ND, Hussain SA, Hall E, Jenkins P, Tremlett J, Rawlings C, Crundwell M, Sizer B, Sreenivasan T, Hendron C, Lewis R, Waters R, Huddart RA. Are you the author?
University of Birmingham, School of Cancer Sciences, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.
Reference: N Engl J Med. 2012 Apr 19;366(16):1477-88.