The Role of Surgery in Metastatic Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review

The role of surgery in metastatic bladder cancer (BCa) is unclear.

In this collaborative review article, we reviewed the contemporary literature on the surgical management of metastatic BCa and factors associated with outcomes to support the development of clinical guidelines as well as informed clinical decision-making.

A systematic search of English language literature using PubMed-Medline and Scopus from 1999 to 2016 was performed.

The beneficial role of consolidation surgery in metastatic BCa is still unproven. In patients with clinically evident lymph node metastasis, data suggest a survival advantage for patients undergoing postchemotherapy radical cystectomy with lymphadenectomy, especially in those with measurable response to chemotherapy (CHT). Intraoperatively identified enlarged pelvic lymph nodes should be removed. Anecdotal reports of resection of pulmonary metastasis as part of multimodal approach suggest possible improved survival in well-selected patients. Cytoreductive radical cystectomy as local treatment has also been explored in patients with metastatic disease, although its benefits remain to be assessed.

Consolidative extirpative surgery may be considered in patients with clinically evident pelvic or retroperitoneal lymph nodal metastases but only if they have had a response to CHT. Surgery for limited pulmonary metastases may also be considered in very selected cases. Best candidates are those with resectable disease who demonstrate measurable response to CHT with good performance status. In the absence of data from prospective randomized studies, each patient should be evaluated on an individual basis and decisions made together with the patient and multidisciplinary teams.

Surgical resection of metastases is technically feasible and can be safely performed. It may help improve cancer control and eventually survival in very selected patients with limited metastatic burden. In a patient who is motivated to receive chemotherapy and to undergo extirpative surgical intervention, surgery should be discussed with the patient among other consolidation therapies in the setting of multidisciplinary teams.

European urology. 2017 Nov 06 [Epub ahead of print]

Mohammad Abufaraj, Guido Dalbagni, Siamak Daneshmand, Simon Horenblas, Ashish M Kamat, Ryu Kanzaki, Alexandre R Zlotta, Shahrokh F Shariat

Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Division of Urology, Department of Special Surgery, Jordan University Hospital, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan., Urology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA., Institute of Urology, University of Southern California/ Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA., Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Urology, Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands., Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of General Thoracic Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan., Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada., Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Karl Landsteiner Institute of Urology and Andrology, Vienna, Austria; Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA; Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: .

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