Adjuvant and neoadjuvant radiotherapy for bladder cancer: revisited.

Adjuvant and neoadjuvant radiotherapy for bladder cancer: revisited., Zaghloul, Mohamed Saad , Future oncology (London, England), 2010 Jul, Volume 6, Issue 7, p.1177-91, (2010)


To date, radical cystectomy has continued to be the treatment of choice for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is associated with a 5-year disease-free survival rate ranging from 27-55%. This outcome is significantly worse when reporting upon locally advanced cases. The independent prognostic factors include: tumor stage, grade, pelvic nodal involvement and some other additional factors. Beside the higher reported incidence of distant metastasis, local recurrence either alone or combined with systemic relapse has been shown to be experienced by 23-50% of locally advanced patients - a rate that was much more frequent than previously believed. Nonrandomized trials of preoperative radiotherapy have suggested improved survival rates. However, only one out of the six randomized preoperative trials in the literature published in English has proved to be significant. On the other hand, the only randomized trial and most retrospective studies dealing with postoperative radiotherapy revealed a significant increase in disease-free survival. Late complications of post operative radiotherapy, contrary to former belief, were acceptable and generally depended upon the volume of the irradiated normal tissues and the radiotherapy techniques used. Most of these adjuvant or neoadjuvant reports were performed in the 1970s and 1980s using conventional radiation techniques. Modern radiotherapy, delivering higher doses to the tumor while saving a significant amount of the surrounding normal structure, has not been rigorously tested. However, these techniques have already succeeded in improving treatment end results in other pelvic tumors.