Efficacy of cytoreductive radical cystectomy in metastatic urothelial bladder cancer based on site and number of metastases.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Urologic Oncology








Humans; Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures; Cystectomy; Retrospective Studies; Urinary Bladder Neoplasms; Carcinoma, Transitional Cell; Lymphatic Metastasis; Treatment Outcome; Cyanoacrylates


BACKGROUND: Recent studies have highlighted the overall survival (OS) benefit of cytoreductive radical cystectomy (CRC) in metastatic bladder cancer (mBCa). Cytoreductive surgery has been established in other urologic cancers. However, the efficacy of CRC and optimal criteria for patient selection in mBCa is unclear. This study investigated the oncologic efficacy of CRC, particularly emphasizing the location and number of metastasis sites as a predictor of survival and treatment response.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of cT2-4N0-3M1 mBCa patients treated with multiagent chemotherapy between 2004 and 2019 was conducted using the National Cancer Database. Patients were classified by additional treatment with CRC or conservative local treatment (CLT), consisting of transurethral resection of bladder tumor, radiation, or no local treatment and propensity score (PS) matched. Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariate Cox Proportional Hazards model assessed the effect of CRC or CLT on OS within the matched cohort and in four subgroups (1) patients with only distant lymph node (LN) metastasis vs. any organ metastasis, (2) patients with single metastasis vs. multiple metastases. Sensitivity analysis estimated the influence of unmeasured confounders on CRC OS benefit.

RESULTS: Propensity matching yielded 247 and 251 patients treated with CRC and CLT, respectively. Median OS in patients who received CRC was greater than that of patients treated with CLT (20.4 months vs. 12.0 months, P < 0.001). CRC was associated with reduced mortality risk in patients with only distant LN metastases (HR = 0.545, P = 0.039), any organ metastasis (HR = 0.421, P < 0.001), and single visceral metastasis (HR = 0.483, P = 0.002). However, CRC did not significantly improve OS in patients with multiple metastases (HR = 0.501, P = 0.064).

CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate an OS benefit of CRC with multiagent chemotherapy and pinpoint multiple visceral metastases as a potential contraindication for CRC. Although limited by the influence of unmeasured confounders, these findings may inform future prospective investigations into CRC.

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