Tag Archive for: neoadjuvant therapy

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IP4-CHRONOS is launched

IP4- CHRONOS is open! CHRONOS is a phase II randomised control trial, that will review the outcomes (including oncological, functional, quality of life and cost-effectiveness) of focal therapy against those from radical therapy, in men with newly diagnosed localised clinically significant prostate cancer.

 

 

All men newly diagnosed with low-intermediate risk prostate cancer, confined to the prostate, with a life expectancy of at least 10 years will be screened for eligibility. Men must be well enough to undergo the interventions outlined in the trial prior to being enrolled.

Men will then have a choice of enrolling into CHRONOS A or CHRONOS B. CHRONOS A will randomise men to having radical whole gland treatment (radiotherapy, brachytherapy or prostatectomy), or focal therapy (HIFU or cryotherapy). CHRONOS A will answer the question, ‘is focal therapy equivalent in cancer control as radical therapy?’ CHRONOS B will randomise men to having focal therapy with or without additional neoadjuvant treatment and will answer the question: ‘can the success of focal therapy be improved by using neoadjuvant treatment?’ Randomisation will be stratified by disease characteristics.

All men will undergo intervention as they would within the NHS, however by doing so in a trial setting, we can directly compare the results of such treatments against each other. As the follow up mimics that of standard of care, the extra burden of treatment within the trial is minimal.

60 men will be recruited into both CHRONOS A and CHRONOS B (total 120) over a 1-year period, during the pilot, and if recruitment is successful the aim is to continue to a larger study assessing 2450 patients over 5 years, with a minimum follow up of 3 years. The primary outcome measures will be progression free survival in CHRONOS A, and failure free survival in CHRONOS B. The CHRONOS pilot will open in 12 UK hospital sites, aiming to open across the UK and Europe within the larger study.

CHRONOS is entirely funded by the Prostate Cancer UK charity, and available on the NIHR CRN portfolio. If you would like to join the main phase of CHRONOS as a site, please contact Miss Deepika Reddy ([email protected]) or visit our website for further information www.imperialprostate.org.uk/CHRONOS

Prof Hashim U. Ahmed (CHRONOS PI&CI)

Mr Taimur T. Shah (CHRONOS sub-investigator, Urology SpR & Research Fellow)

Miss Deepika Reddy (CHRONOS Clinical Research Fellow)

 

Article of the week: Persistent muscle-invasive BCa after neoadjuvant chemotherapy: an analysis of SEER‐Medicare data

Every week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Persistent muscle‐invasive bladder cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy: an analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results‐Medicare data

Giulia Lane*, Michael Risk*, Yunhua Fan*, Suprita Krishna* and Badrinath Konety*

 

*Department of Urology, University of Minnesota, and Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Read the full article

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate whether patients with persistent muscle‐invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) after undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and radical cystectomy (RC) have worse overall survival (OS) and cancer‐specific survival (CSS) than patients with similar pathology who undergo RC alone.

Materials and Methods

Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)‐Medicare database, we identified the records of patients with pT2‐4N0M0 disease who underwent RC, with and without NAC, for MIBC between 2004 and 2011. To evaluate survival outcomes in those with MIBC after NAC vs patients with MIBC who underwent RC alone, we used Kaplan–Meier time‐to‐event analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression modelling. Landmark analysis was conducted to mitigate immortal time bias. Propensity scoring was used to decrease the risk of selection bias.

Fig. 2. Propensity‐weighted Kaplan–Meier curves. Overall survival and cancer‐specific survival among patients with persistent pT2‐4N0M0 bladder cancer after radical cystectomy from time of diagnosis. (A) Overall survival and (B) cancer‐specific survival. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) + radical cystectomy (RC) in red. RC alone in blue.

Results

Of the 1 886 patients with persistent pT2‐4 disease at the time of RC, 1505 underwent RC alone and 381 received NAC + RC. After adjusting for confounders, the propensity‐weighted risk of death from bladder cancer after diagnosis did not differ between the groups (hazard ratio [HR] 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72–1.08; P = 0.23); however, the risk of death from all causes was worse in the RC‐alone group (HR 0.79, 95% CI0.67–0.94; P = 0.006).

Conclusions

Patients who had persistent MIBC after platinum‐based NAC + RC vs RC alone derived an OS benefit but not a CSS benefit from NAC. This may represent a selection bias favouring patients who were selected for NAC; however, the OS benefit was not evident in patients with persistent pT3‐T4N0M0 disease. This study underscores the importance of future research investigating methods to identify patients who will respond to NAC for bladder cancer. It also highlights the need to consider adjuvant therapy in patients who have persistent MIBC after NAC.

Read more Articles of the week

 

 

Editorial: The bladder cancer conundrum: how do we treat the right tumour with the right treatment, at the right time?

The bladder cancer conundrum is how to accurately determine the type of tumour, treatment and timing that is ideal for each patient? This is epitomised by the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for muscle‐invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). MIBC is a deadly disease; if untreated, the 2‐year mortality rate is 85% [1] and even if treated the overall survival (OS) rate at 5 years is 50%. In this context, NAC is appealing because it may improve outcomes. In 2003, a landmark study by Grossman et al. [2] examined NAC prior to radical cystectomy (RC) for MIBC. The median survival (44 vs 77 months, P = 0.06) and pT0 rates, which equate to the best survival rates (30% vs 15%, P < 0.001), were improved with NAC. A meta‐analysis of 11 randomised control trials in >3000 patients reported an OS benefit of 5% at 5 years with platinum‐based NAC [3]. Whilst NAC improves outcomes, especially for those patients who achieve pT0, it is also important to examine outcomes for patients with persistent MIBC and to determine if NAC is helpful in those patients.

In this issue of the BJUI, Lane et al. [4] attempt to answer this question by examining outcomes for patients with persistent MIBC after RC alone or NAC followed by RC. Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)‐Medicare data, the authors examined 1505 patients that underwent RC alone and 381 patients that received NAC and RC from 2004 to 2011. The authors report that after propensity weighted Kaplan–Meier analysis, the 5‐year OS rate was improved amongst patients that received NAC and RC as compared to patients that had RC alone if there was pT2–T4N0M0 disease on final pathology (43.5% vs 37.2%, P = 0.001). However, there was no difference in cancer‐specific survival (CSS) for NAC with RC compared to only RC (53.7% vs 58.4%, P = 0.76). After adjusting for confounders, the authors found similar results. The use of NAC and RC was found to have an OS benefit (hazard ratio [HR] 0.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67–0.94; P = 0.006) for pT2–4N0M0 patients but not a CSS benefit (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.72–1.08; P = 0.23).

Since previous studies have established the value of NAC in patients that are down‐staged to pT0 disease, the authors also focused their subset analysis on patients not down‐staged and instead had persistent MIBC. On subset analysis, NAC and RC patients with pT2N0M0 disease had an OS but no CSS benefit. For pT3–T4N0M0 patients, there was no OS or CSS benefit. This may suggest that a subset of non‐responders, such as those with pT2 disease, may experience some benefit from NAC despite persistent disease. Lastly, it is worth noting that whilst NAC improves outcomes, is better tolerated before surgery than adjuvant therapy, and is supported by high‐quality evidence, utilisation remains suboptimal. In this study [4], 381 of 1886 patients (or only 20%) had NAC and only 55% of these received cisplatin‐based therapy. Utilisation patterns vary and updated studies may show different results though. Overall, the authors should be congratulated for a study that is relevant, thoughtful and directed at an important clinical topic.

In this study [4], one issue that is raised is the challenges of accurate preoperative staging. The authors in this paper analysed patients according to pathological stage to limit confounding, as determining the exact stage of patients prior to NAC and RC cannot be done exactly. In this study, pT2 patients had on OS benefit after NAC but pT3–4 patients did not benefit. Clinical staging relies on transurethral resection, imaging and examination under anaesthesia to establish the diagnosis. Without final staging, it is difficult to precisely parse out which patients are clinical T2 vs T3 disease before RC. Predicting which patients are non‐responders is particularly important because these patients may be exposed unnecessarily to the risks of chemotherapy and may have delays in surgery that can negatively impact their outcomes. Therefore, even if the optimal treatment is known, identifying which patients will benefit can be challenging.

Fortunately, there is an exciting future for MIBC on the horizon. First, traditionally bladder cancer staging relies on determining the depth of invasion. In the future, more refined categorisation may help better characterise tumour subtypes. Through innovative multiplatform analyses, an improved understanding of distinct subtypes in bladder cancer has emerged [5]. Consequently, better subtype recognition may herald more targeted, and effective, therapy. Next, it is essential to determine the right type of treatment. Now, NAC is the standard of care for MIBC. However, there are several exciting trials examining other effective options to be used alternatively or synergistically. For example, the use of immunotherapy in the preoperative space is being studied and may shift how we manage MIBC. Lastly, the question of timing is key. Now, the order of surgery and systemic therapy may be a new frontier and perhaps the most significant question we are trying to solve. The possibility of understanding new subtypes of tumours and having new treatment options may require new timing for specific therapies in certain patients. It is conceivable that certain subtypes would be best managed with systemic therapy immediately whilst others with upfront surgery.

Certainly, more work needs to be done. So, what can we do now? We can promote the overall well‐being of our patients. Urologists can be conduits to help patients live healthy lifestyles and engage in behaviours that will promote psychological stability and physical strength. Encouraging daily activity, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and, if needed, weight loss are options. Smoking cessation represents an imperative opportunity where urologists can make a positive impact [6]. Prehabilitation programmes focused on preparation for surgery can be done during NAC or while waiting for surgery and incorporate these elements. In this way, waiting time is leveraged to make small but cumulative improvements – ‘a little bit at a time’ is possible.

For now, we will continue to study the bladder cancer conundrum: subtypes of tumours, various treatments, and the best timing for therapy. Regardless of these results, it is likely patients with bladder cancer will still need some combination of surgery, systematic therapy and supportive care while they heal. In the interim, promoting well‐being is one way to help patients live healthier lives whilst making them more resilient to undergo whatever treatments may emerge next.

by Matthew Mossanen and Adam S. Kibel

References

  1. Prout, GRMarshall, VFThe prognosis with untreated bladder tumors. Cancer 19569551– 8
  2. Grossman, HBNatale, RBTangen, CM et al. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus cystectomy compared with cystectomy alone for locally advanced bladder cancer. N Engl J Med 2003349859– 66
  3. Advanced Bladder Cancer Overview CollaborationNeoadjuvant chemotherapy for invasive bladder cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 20052CD005246.
  4. Lane, GRisk, MFan, YKrishna, SKonety, BPersistent muscle‐invasive bladder cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy: an analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results‐Medicare dataBJU Int 2019123818– 25
  5. Robertson, AGKim, JAl‐Ahmadie, H et al. Comprehensive molecular characterization of muscle‐invasive bladder cancer. Cell 20181741033
  6. Mossanen, MCaldwell, JSonpavde, GLehmann, LSTreating patients with bladder cancer: is there an ethical obligation to include smoking cessation counseling? J Clin Oncol 2018; 36: 3189– 91

Article of the month: Evaluation of axitinib to downstage cT2a renal tumours and allow partial nephrectomy: a phase II study

Every month, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community and the authors have also kindly produced a video describing their work. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Evaluation of axitinib to downstage cT2a renal tumours and allow partial nephrectomy: a phase II study

Cedric Lebacle* , Karim Bensalah, Jean-Christophe Bernhard§, Laurence AlbigesBrigitte Laguerre**, Marine Gross-Goupil††, Herve Baumert‡‡, Herve Lang§§, Thibault Tricard§§, Brigitte Duclos¶¶, Armelle Arnoux***, Celine Piedvache***, Jean-Jacques Patard††† and Bernard Escudier

 

*Department of Urology, Bicêtre University Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, APHP, University Paris-Saclay, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Department of Urology, Pontchaillou University Hospital, Rennes, Department of Urology, Bordeaux University Hospital, Pellegrin Hospital, §French Research Network on Kidney Cancer UroCCR, Bordeaux, Department of Medicine, Gustave Roussy, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, **Department of Oncology, Eugene Marquis Centre, Rennes, ††Department of Medical Oncology, Bordeaux University Hospital, Saint-André Hospital, Bordeaux, ‡‡Department of Urology, Saint-Joseph Hospital, Paris, §§Department of Urology, Nouvel Hôpital Civil, ¶¶Department of Oncology, Hautepierre Hospital, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, ***Paris-Sud Clinical Research Unit, Department of Statistics, Bicêtre University Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre and †††Department of Urology, Mont de Marsan Hospital, Mont de Marsan, France

 

Read the full article

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the ability of neoadjuvant axitinib to reduce the size of T2 renal cell carcinoma (RCC) for shifting from a radical nephrectomy (RN) to a partial nephrectomy (PN) indication, offering preservation of renal function.

Patients and Methods

Patients with cT2aN0NxM0 clear‐cell RCC, considered not suitable for PN, were enrolled in a prospective, multicentre, phase II trial (AXIPAN). Axitinib 5 mg, and up to 7–10 mg, was administered twice daily, for 2–6 months before surgery, depending on the radiological response. The primary outcome was the number of patients receiving PN for a tumour <7 cm in size after neoadjuvant axitinib.

Results

Eighteen patients were enrolled. The median (range) tumour size and RENAL nephrometry score were 76.5  (70–98) mm and 11 (7–11), respectively. After axitinib neoadjuvant treatment, 16 tumours decreased in diameter, with a median size reduction of 17% (64.0 vs 76.5 mm; P < 0.001). The primary outcome was considered achieved in 12 patients who underwent PN for tumours <7 cm. Sixteen patients underwent PN. Axitinib was tolerated in the present study, as has been previously shown in the metastatic setting. Five patients had grade 3 adverse events. Five patients experienced Clavien III–V post‐surgery complications. At 2‐year follow‐up, six patients had metastatic progression, and two had a recurrence.

Conclusion

Neoadjuvant axitinib in cT2 ccRCC is feasible and, even with a modest decrease in size, allowed a tumour shrinkage <7 cm in 12 cases; however, PN procedures remained complex, requiring surgical expertise with possible morbidity.

Read more Articles of the week

Editorial: Expanding the feasibility of nephron‐sparing surgery: time for a paradigm shift?

With the rapid implementation of ‘targeted’ therapies, kidney cancer has entered a new era where old paradigms are being challenged, and new ones can be explored. The idea of delivering ‘neoadjuvant’ systemic therapy to alter the surgical treatment of advanced RCC was suggested in this same journal ~10 years ago as a proof‐of‐concept study [1]. Since then, a plethora of small case series has investigated the safety and feasibility of different targeted agents in the preoperative setting to facilitate surgical resection of locally advanced disease, mostly with a ‘cytoreductive’ (rather than ‘curative’) intent.

In this issue of the BJU Int, Lebacle et al. [2] evaluated the role of neoadjuvant axitinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor currently recommended as a second‐line option for metastatic clear cell RCC, to downstage cT2 kidney cancer and allow a partial nephrectomy (PN). In this multicentre prospective study, 18 patients with RCC (median tumour size 7.6 cm and R.E.N.A.L. [Radius; Exophytic/Endophytic; Nearness; Anterior/Posterior; Location] score 11) were enrolled. A median tumour size reduction of 17% was obtained, and the primary outcome (‘clinical downstaging’ to cT1 to allow PN) was achieved in 12 patients (67%). Overall, 16 patients underwent PN, as this was successfully done also in four of six (67%) patients who were not ‘down‐staged’ by the drug. Notably, about half of the PNs were performed with a robotic approach. Whilst axitinib was well tolerated, five patients experienced a high‐grade complication after surgery, including one death. Interestingly, final pathology showed upstaging to pT3a disease in seven patients, and two positive margins. Moreover, about a third of patients had metastatic progression and two had recurrence at 2 years. Thus, while the authors noted axitinib to be effective in reducing tumour size and achieving a clinical downstaging in most patients, the significant presence of pT3a disease calls into question the overall efficacy (to truly pathologically downstage) or desirability (most of the tumours that were not downstaged still successfully underwent PN) of the study’s main stated aim.

The rapid adoption of robotic surgery and the increasing experience with PN techniques translated into expanding indications for minimally invasive nephron‐sparing surgery (NSS), to include also T1b and T2 renal masses [3], and the field is primed for a possible paradigm shift. Whether or not a PN is doable, regardless of the technique, remains in the hands of the surgeon, who makes that decision based on previous personal experience. This is also the case for the present study, where the primary outcome was simply represented by the number of patients who could get a PN (instead of a radical nephrectomy). As such, is such a subjective endpoint (feasibility of PN) clinically meaningful? While disagreement may occur over the risk of PN in complex and elective cases, the desirability of nephron preservation in imperative and most elective circumstances is supported by evidence that largely suggests that PN translates into better renal function. In addition, recent findings suggest that estimated GFR preservation might translate into better cancer‐specific survival [4]. Certainly, this type of endpoint (whether a PN is feasible) is prone to intrinsic bias and limitations.

Only a limited number of studies have specifically explored the role of neoadjuvant therapy to enable NSS with variable results [5] (Table 1) [2, 6, 7, 8, 9]. Overall, these studies suggest that even a modest tumour size reduction can facilitate kidney preservation in a significant number of cases. Amongst these studies, only one had assessed axitinib in this specific setting [9]. Differences in outcomes between that trial and the present one by Lebacle et al. [2] could be explained by differences in study populations and/or drug regimens. A more recent study by Karam et al. [10], showed that inter‐observer agreement regarding the feasibility of a PN is quite variable, which is not surprising. For this reason, those authors advocated the need for a ‘resectability score’.

In conclusion, utility of neoadjuvant therapy to modify tumour size and facilitate NSS is an active and exciting area of clinical investigation, fuelled by the rapidly changing landscape of systemic therapies for RCC. It is too early to call for a paradigm shift, but a few ongoing studies might provide some meaningful answers soon. Amongst these, the PADRES (Prior Axitinib as a Determinant of Outcome of REnal Surgery) is an ongoing North American multicentre phase II study of axitinib with the aim of recruiting 50 patients [5]. While waiting for more robust evidence, the use of neoadjuvant therapy to facilitate NSS should still be deemed as investigational.

References

  1. Shuch, BRiggs, SBLaRochelle, JC et al. Neoadjuvant targeted therapy and advanced kidney cancer: observations and implications for a new treatment paradigm. BJU Int 2008102692– 6
  2. Lebacle, CBensalah, KBernhard, JC et al. Evaluation of axitinib to downstage cT2a renal tumours and allow partial nephrectomy: a phase II study. BJU Int 2019123804– 10
  3. Bertolo, RAutorino, RSimone, G et al. Outcomes of robot‐assisted partial nephrectomy for clinical T2 renal tumors: a multicenter analysis (ROSULA Collaborative Group). Eur Urol 201874:226– 32
  4. Antonelli, AMinervini, ASandri, M et al. Below safety limits, every unit of glomerular filtration rate counts: assessing the relationship between renal function and cancer‐specific mortality in renal cell carcinoma. Eur Urol 201874661– 7
  5. Bindayi, AHamilton, ZAMcDonald, ML et al. Neoadjuvant therapy for localized and locally advanced renal cell carcinoma. Urol Oncol 20183631– 7
  6. Silberstein, JLMillard, FMehrazin, R et al. Feasibility and efficacy of neoadjuvant sunitinib before nephron‐sparing surgery. BJU Int 20101061270– 6
  7. Rini, BIPlimack, ERTakagi, T et al. A phase II study of pazopanib in patients with localized renal cell carcinoma to optimize preservation of renal parenchyma. J Urol 2015194297– 303
  8. Lane, BRDerweesh, IHKim, HL et al. Presurgical sunitinib reduces tumor size and may facilitate partial nephrectomy in patients with renal cell carcinoma. Urol Oncol 201533112.e15–21.
  9. Karam, JADevine, CEUrbauer, DL et al. Phase 2 trial of neoadjuvant axitinib in patients with locally advanced nonmetastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Eur Urol 201466874– 80
  10. Karam, JADevine, CEFellman, BM et al. Variability of inter‐observer agreement on feasibility of partial nephrectomy before and after neoadjuvant axitinib for locally advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC): independent analysis from a phase II trial. BJU Int 2016117629– 35

 

Video: Evaluation of axitinib to downstage cT2a renal tumours and allow partial nephrectomy: a phase II study

Evaluation of axitinib to downstage cT2a renal tumours and allow partial nephrectomy: a phase II study

Read the full article

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the ability of neoadjuvant axitinib to reduce the size of T2 renal cell carcinoma (RCC) for shifting from a radical nephrectomy (RN) to a partial nephrectomy (PN) indication, offering preservation of renal function.

Patients and Methods

Patients with cT2aN0NxM0 clear‐cell RCC, considered not suitable for PN, were enrolled in a prospective, multicentre, phase II trial (AXIPAN). Axitinib 5 mg, and up to 7–10 mg, was administered twice daily, for 2–6 months before surgery, depending on the radiological response. The primary outcome was the number of patients receiving PN for a tumour <7 cm in size after neoadjuvant axitinib.

Results

Eighteen patients were enrolled. The median (range) tumour size and RENAL nephrometry score were 76.5  (70–98) mm and 11 (7–11), respectively. After axitinib neoadjuvant treatment, 16 tumours decreased in diameter, with a median size reduction of 17% (64.0 vs 76.5 mm; P < 0.001). The primary outcome was considered achieved in 12 patients who underwent PN for tumours <7 cm. Sixteen patients underwent PN. Axitinib was tolerated in the present study, as has been previously shown in the metastatic setting. Five patients had grade 3 adverse events. Five patients experienced Clavien III–V post‐surgery complications. At 2‐year follow‐up, six patients had metastatic progression, and two had a recurrence.

Conclusion

Neoadjuvant axitinib in cT2 ccRCC is feasible and, even with a modest decrease in size, allowed a tumour shrinkage <7 cm in 12 cases; however, PN procedures remained complex, requiring surgical expertise with possible morbidity.

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Article of the week: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer does not increase risk of perioperative morbidity

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by prominent members of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature a video from Angela Smith and David Johnson discussing their paper.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer does not increase risk of perioperative morbidity

David C. Johnson*, Matthew E. Nielsen*†‡, Jonathan Matthews*, Michael E. Woods*, Eric M. Wallen*, Raj S. Pruthi*, Matthew I. Milowsky*†§ and Angela B. Smith*

*Department of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Outcomes Research Group, Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, and §Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Read the full article
OBJECTIVE

To determine whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is a predictor of postoperative complications, length of stay (LOS), or operating time after radical cystectomy (RC) for bladder cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

A retrospective review of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was performed to identify patients receiving NAC before RC from 2005 to 2011. Bivariable and multivariable analyses were used to determine whether NAC was associated with 30-day perioperative outcomes, e.g. complications, LOS, and operating time.

RESULTS

Of the 878 patients who underwent RC for bladder cancer in our study, 78 (8.9%) received NAC. Excluding those patients who were ineligible for NAC due to renal insufficiency, 78/642 (12.1%) received NAC. In all, 457 of the 878 patients (52.1%) undergoing RC had at least one complication ≤30 days of RC, including 43 of 78 patients (55.1%) who received NAC and 414 of 800 patients (51.8%) who did not (P = 0.58). On multivariable logistic regression, NAC was not a predictor of complications (P = 0.87), re-operation (P = 0.16), wound infection (P = 0.32), or wound dehiscence (P = 0.32). Using multiple linear regression, NAC was not a predictor of increased operating time (P = 0.24), and patients undergoing NAC had a decreased LOS (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Our study is the first large multi-institutional analysis specifically comparing complications after RC with and without NAC. Using a nationally validated, prospectively maintained database specifically designed to measure perioperative outcomes, we found no increase in perioperative complications or surgical morbidity with NAC. Considering these findings and the well-established overall survival benefit over surgery alone, efforts are needed to improve the uptake of NAC.

Read more articles of the week

Editorial: Unveiling the surgical risk associated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy in bladder cancer

In this issue of BJU International, Johnson et al. [1] examine the association between neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for bladder cancer and 30-day morbidity related to radical cystectomy (RC). Level 1 evidence supports use of cisplatin-based NAC for bladder cancer; a meta-analysis of 11 randomised trials including 3005 patients who received NAC found a 5% absolute increase in 5-year overall survival and a 9% absolute increase in 5-year disease-free survival compared with RC alone [2]. Despite this, recent studies have reported underutilisation of NAC at ≈20% [3], with several reasons proposed for this ‘non-compliance’ to guidelines. A 2013 National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) analysis found that increasing age, lower patient income, and treatment at a non-academic institution (P < 0.01) negatively influenced the receipt of NAC, while higher clinical stage and fewer comorbid conditions were associated with higher likelihood of receiving NAC (P < 0.01) [3].

Another relevant concern is that NAC may increase perioperative complications for RC given the toxicities associated with chemotherapy, advanced age and often high rates of renal and cardiac comorbidities among potential candidates [4]. Credit should be given to Millikan et al. [5] for first negating this fear in 2001 with a randomised trial comparing NAC vs adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with bladder cancer; this study did not find any increase in perioperative morbidity.

The present analysis by Johnson et al. [1] further debunks this misconception in contemporary practice (2005–2011), drawing on the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), which prospectively collects a sample of risk-adjusted validated surgical patient data from >450 participating USA hospitals. The authors show that NAC was not an independent predictor of complications, reoperation, wound infection or dehiscence. The robustness of these findings is reinforced by the shorter adjusted length of stay among patients receiving NAC. Given that scant data exists on this topic, the authors contribute a valuable paper that substantially adds to the literature.

Despite its strengths, the study should be interpreted in light of notable limitations that the authors acknowledge. Many crucial variables are not tracked by the NSQIP and therefore cannot be accounted for, including type of chemotherapy regimen, delay between chemotherapy and surgery, surgical technique (open, laparoscopic, robotic), surgical quality (margins, extent of lymphadenectomy), clinical/pathological stage of bladder cancer, and hospital/surgeon volume. Besides, because RC is a morbid procedure with a mean length of stay of 11 days, 30-day complication rates do not capture its true morbidity as well as 90-day rates. In particular, several common complications, such as postoperative ileus or small bowel obstruction, tend to occur later during the postoperative recovery period. As such, chances are that the event rate is biased downward by the short-term duration of data capture by the NSQIP. This study also cannot fully examine the association of NAC with certain subtypes of complications, including gastrointestinal or bleeding complications, especially when other investigators examining robotic RC have reported a conflicting increase in perioperative complications associated with NAC [6] driven by a 27% rate of gastrointestinal complications, which are not tracked by the NSQIP. Of note, unadjusted rates of transfusion and bleeding events were both higher in the NAC group in the present study.

One of the relevant and heartening observations of the report is the gradual increase in the use of NAC over the study period from 4% of eligible patients to 11%, close to the NCDB estimates of 7.6% in 2006 to 20.9% in 2010 (P < 0.01) [3]. Interestingly, there was an increased probability of any complication in the most recent time period (odds ratio 0.47 for 2005–2009 relative to 2010–2011 in the primary multivariate model, P < 0.001). A plausible explanation is that as physicians have heeded the message to increase usage of NAC, treatment has expanded into a wider population with more comorbidities and therefore a greater propensity for complications. It would have been of interest to address this point by restricting the analyses to the most recent data to see if NAC does indeed predict perioperative complications in the most recent period from 2010 to 2011.

Finally, given the lack of detail available in the NSQIP, other relevant questions could not be addressed. Among them it would be relevant to know if complication rates vary between standard MVAC (methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin and cisplatin) and newer chemotherapy regimens such as dose dense MVAC (DD-MVAC) or gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GC). Similarly, the role of the delay or the elapsed time between chemotherapy and surgery on complications might be helpful in future trial planning.

Additional work still needs to be done to identify prognostic factors for both perioperative complications and long-term outcomes after NAC, so that this valuable therapy can be appropriately provided to the correct patients. Indeed, given the lack of randomised controlled trial data investigating less toxic regimens than MVAC, perhaps NAC is underused because clinicians and patients are underserved by the available data. The authors should be commended for their efforts in deconstructing possible barriers to increased uptake of NAC, a therapy known to confer survival benefits for our patients with bladder cancer.

Joaquim Bellmunt,* Jeffrey J.Leow and William Martin-Doyle§
*Bladder Cancer Center, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston, MA, USA; University Hospital Del Mar-IMIM, Barcelona, Spain; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Urology and Center for Surgery and Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; §University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA

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References

  1. Johnson DC, Nielsen ME, Matthews J et al. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer does not increase risk of perioperative morbidity. BJU Int 2014; 114: 221–228
  2. Bellmunt J, Orsola A, Wiegel T et al. Bladder cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. ESMO Guidelines Working Group. Ann Oncol 2011; 22 (Suppl. 6): 45–49
  3. Zaid HB, Patel SG, Stimson CJ et al. Trends in the utilization of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: results from the National Cancer Database. Urology 2014; 83: 75–80
  4. Meeks JJ, Bellmunt J, Bochner BH et al. A systematic review of neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Eur Urol 2012; 62: 523–533
  5. Millikan R, Dinney C, Swanson D et al. Integrated therapy for locally advanced bladder cancer: final report of a randomized trial of cystectomy plus adjuvant M-VAC versus cystectomy with both preoperative and postoperative M-VAC. J Clin Oncol 2001; 19: 4005–4013
  6. Johar RS, Hayn MH, Stegemann AP et al. Complications after robot-assisted radical cystectomy: results from the International Robotic Cystectomy Consortium. Eur Urol 2013; 64: 52–57
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Video: Time to increase use of multimodal therapy in bladder cancer

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer does not increase risk of perioperative morbidity

David C. Johnson*, Matthew E. Nielsen*†‡, Jonathan Matthews*, Michael E. Woods*, Eric M. Wallen*, Raj S. Pruthi*, Matthew I. Milowsky*†§ and Angela B. Smith*

*Department of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Outcomes Research Group, Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, and §Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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OBJECTIVE

To determine whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is a predictor of postoperative complications, length of stay (LOS), or operating time after radical cystectomy (RC) for bladder cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

A retrospective review of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was performed to identify patients receiving NAC before RC from 2005 to 2011. Bivariable and multivariable analyses were used to determine whether NAC was associated with 30-day perioperative outcomes, e.g. complications, LOS, and operating time.

RESULTS

Of the 878 patients who underwent RC for bladder cancer in our study, 78 (8.9%) received NAC. Excluding those patients who were ineligible for NAC due to renal insufficiency, 78/642 (12.1%) received NAC. In all, 457 of the 878 patients (52.1%) undergoing RC had at least one complication ≤30 days of RC, including 43 of 78 patients (55.1%) who received NAC and 414 of 800 patients (51.8%) who did not (P = 0.58). On multivariable logistic regression, NAC was not a predictor of complications (P = 0.87), re-operation (P = 0.16), wound infection (P = 0.32), or wound dehiscence (P = 0.32). Using multiple linear regression, NAC was not a predictor of increased operating time (P = 0.24), and patients undergoing NAC had a decreased LOS (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Our study is the first large multi-institutional analysis specifically comparing complications after RC with and without NAC. Using a nationally validated, prospectively maintained database specifically designed to measure perioperative outcomes, we found no increase in perioperative complications or surgical morbidity with NAC. Considering these findings and the well-established overall survival benefit over surgery alone, efforts are needed to improve the uptake of NAC.

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