Prognostic significance of lymphatic, vascular and perineural invasion for bladder cancer patients treated by radical cystectomy

In radical cystectomy specimens with bladder cancer, lymphatic and vascular invasion are often reported as 'angiolymphatic' or 'lymphovascular' invasion, terms that combine the findings of tumour within simple endothelial-lined lymphatic spaces and tumour within muscle-lined blood vessels. It is unclear if these patterns of invasion have different prognostic significance. In addition, there are conflicting data regarding the significance of lymphatic, vascular and perineural invasion in patients with bladder cancer. Herein, we studied 1504 patients treated by radical cystectomy for bladder cancer at our institution and followed for a mean of 10.6 years. Cases were re-reviewed by a urological pathologist for lymphatic invasion defined as tumour within a non-muscle-lined endothelial-lined lymphatic space, vascular invasion defined as tumour in a muscle-lined blood vessel, and perineural invasion defined as tumour within the perineural sheath. Associations of clinical and pathological features with bladder cancer death were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression models and summarised with hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate analysis showed that lymphatic and vascular invasion but not perineural invasion were significantly associated with cancer specific survival (p<0.0001 and p=0.02, respectively). There was a significant association of lymphatic and vascular invasion but not perineural invasion with involved regional lymph nodes (p<0.0001 and p=0.004, respectively). In patients with metastasis to regional lymph nodes, lymphatic invasion remained significantly associated with outcome (p=0.02). The frequency of lymphatic and vascular invasion varied amongst histological subtypes of bladder cancer. Vascular and lymphatic invasion should be clearly defined and reported for radical cystectomy specimens containing bladder cancer.

Pathology. 2017 Mar 01 [Epub ahead of print]

Prasuna Muppa, Sounak Gupta, Igor Frank, Stephen A Boorjian, R Jeffrey Karnes, R Houston Thompson, Prabin Thapa, Robert F Tarrell, Loren P Herrera Hernandez, Rafael E Jimenez, John C Cheville

Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, United States., Department of Surgery, United States., Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States., Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, United States. Electronic address: .