Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
Stage II bladder cancer is defined by the following TNM classifications:
The bladder is a pouch in the urinary tract that stores urine after it is produced by the kidneys. The bladder is lined with specialized cells called transitional cells.
Bladder cancer often arises from these transitional cells. The cancer spreads by penetrating bladder muscle, infiltrating surrounding fat and tissue, and -- if untreated -- spreads to lymph nodes and other organs, such as the liver, lungs, or bones.
The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the more limited it will likely be and...
Stage II bladder cancer may be controlled in some patients by transurethral resection (TUR), but often more aggressive forms of treatment are dictated by recurrent tumor or by the large size, multiple foci, or undifferentiated grade of the neoplasm. Segmental cystectomy is appropriate only in very selected patients.
Radical cystectomy is considered standard treatment. Radical cystectomy includes removal of the bladder, perivesical tissues, prostate, and seminal vesicles in men and the uterus, tubes, ovaries, anterior vaginal wall, and urethra in women and may or may not be accompanied by pelvic lymph node dissection. Studies suggest that radical cystectomy with preservation of sexual function can be performed in some men and that new forms of urinary diversion can obviate the need for an external urinary appliance.[2,3,4,5] In a retrospective analysis from a single institution, elderly patients (?70 years) in good general health were found to have similar clinical and functional results following radical cystectomy when compared with younger patients.
After radical cystectomy, however, an approximate 50% risk of recurrence still exists for patients with muscle-invasive disease. The addition of preoperative radiation therapy to radical cystectomy did not result in any survival advantage when compared with radical cystectomy alone in a prospective, randomized trial. Because the disease commonly recurs with distant metastases, systemic chemotherapy administered before or after cystectomy has been evaluated as a means of improving outcome. Administration of chemotherapy before cystectomy (i.e., neoadjuvant) may be preferable to postoperative treatment because tumor downstaging from chemotherapy may enhance resectability, occult metastatic disease may be treated as early as possible, and chemotherapy may be better tolerated. A randomized study conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group compared three cycles of neoadjuvant cisplatin, methotrexate, vinblastine, and doxorubicin (MVAC) administered prior to cystectomy with cystectomy alone in 317 patients with stage T2 to stage T4a bladder cancer and showed that 5-year survival was 57% in the group receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 43% in the group treated with cystectomy alone, which is a difference of borderline statistical significance (P = .06 by stratified log-rank test). No deaths or postoperative complications were associated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In addition, 38% of patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy had a pathologic complete response at the time of surgery, and 85% of those achieving a pathologic complete response were alive at 5 years.[Level of evidence: 1iiA]