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Stage II Bladder Cancer


    Systemic chemotherapy has been incorporated with definitive radiation therapy to develop a more effective bladder-sparing approach for patients with locally advanced disease. The utility of this multimodality approach was confirmed in a prospective, randomized comparison of radiation therapy and chemoradiation therapy, which reported an improved rate of local control when cisplatin was given in conjunction with radiation therapy, even though there was no improvement in the rate of distant metastases or overall survival (OS).[18][Level of evidence: 1iiA] In some nonrandomized studies, 50% or more of the patients who had bladder-preserving therapy (i.e., initial TUR of as much tumor as possible followed by concurrent chemoradiation therapy) were alive at 5 years, and 75% of those survivors had an intact bladder.[19,20,21] In a phase III study (RTOG-8903), the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group evaluated the potential benefit of adding two cycles of neoadjuvant methotrexate, cisplatin, and vinblastine prior to concurrent cisplatin and radiation therapy, but neoadjuvant chemotherapy was associated with increased hematologic toxic effects and yielded no improvement in response rate, freedom from distant metastases, or OS when compared with chemoradiation therapy alone.[22] Because no randomized trials have directly compared the bladder-preserving chemoradiation therapy approach with radical cystectomy, it is not clear if the former is as effective as the latter. Choice of treatment should be guided by a patient's overall medical condition and by consideration of the adverse effects of therapy.

    Treatment options:

    1. Radical cystectomy with or without pelvic lymph node dissection.[23]
    2. Neoadjuvant, platinum-based combination chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy.[8]
    3. External-beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with or without concurrent chemotherapy .[11,12,13,18,19,20,21]
    4. Interstitial implantation of radioisotopes before or after EBRT.[24,25]
    5. TUR with fulguration (in selected patients).
    6. Segmental cystectomy (in selected patients).[23]

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage II bladder cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


    1. Olsson CA: Management of invasive carcinoma of the bladder. In: deKernion JB, Paulson DF, eds.: Genitourinary Cancer Management. Philadelphia, Pa: Lea and Febiger, 1987, pp 59-94.
    2. Brendler CB, Steinberg GD, Marshall FF, et al.: Local recurrence and survival following nerve-sparing radical cystoprostatectomy. J Urol 144 (5): 1137-40; discussion 1140-1, 1990.
    3. Skinner DG, Boyd SD, Lieskovsky G: Clinical experience with the Kock continent ileal reservoir for urinary diversion. J Urol 132 (6): 1101-7, 1984.
    4. Fowler JE: Continent urinary reservoirs and bladder substitutes in the adult: part I. Monographs in Urology 8(2): 1987.
    5. Fowler JE: Continent urinary reservoirs and bladder substitutes in the adult: part II. Monographs in Urology 8(3): 1987.
    6. Figueroa AJ, Stein JP, Dickinson M, et al.: Radical cystectomy for elderly patients with bladder carcinoma: an updated experience with 404 patients. Cancer 83 (1): 141-7, 1998.
    7. Smith JA, Crawford ED, Blumenstein B, et al.: A randomized prospective trial of pre-operative irradiation plus radical cystectomy versus surgery alone for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: a Southwest Oncology Group study. [Abstract] J Urol 139(4, Part 2): 266A, 1988.
    8. Grossman HB, Natale RB, Tangen CM, et al.: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus cystectomy compared with cystectomy alone for locally advanced bladder cancer. N Engl J Med 349 (9): 859-66, 2003.
    9. Neoadjuvant cisplatin, methotrexate, and vinblastine chemotherapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer: a randomised controlled trial. International collaboration of trialists. Lancet 354 (9178): 533-40, 1999.
    10. Advanced Bladder Cancer Meta-analysis Collaboration.: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in invasive bladder cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 361 (9373): 1927-34, 2003.
    11. Gospodarowicz MK, Hawkins NV, Rawlings GA, et al.: Radical radiotherapy for muscle invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: failure analysis. J Urol 142 (6): 1448-53; discussion 1453-4, 1989.
    12. Yu WS, Sagerman RH, Chung CT, et al.: Bladder carcinoma. Experience with radical and preoperative radiotherapy in 421 patients. Cancer 56 (6): 1293-9, 1985.
    13. Jahnson S, Pedersen J, Westman G: Bladder carcinoma--a 20-year review of radical irradiation therapy. Radiother Oncol 22 (2): 111-7, 1991.
    14. Henningsohn L, Wijkström H, Dickman PW, et al.: Distressful symptoms after radical radiotherapy for urinary bladder cancer. Radiother Oncol 62 (2): 215-25, 2002.
    15. Miller LS: Bladder cancer: superiority of preoperative irradiation and cystectomy in clinical stages B2 and C. Cancer 39 (2 Suppl): 973-80, 1977.
    16. Horwich A, Pendlebury S, Dearnaley DP, et al.: Organ conservation in bladder cancer. Eur J Cancer 31 (Suppl 6): S208-9, 1995.
    17. Sell A, Jakobsen A, Nerstrøm B, et al.: Treatment of advanced bladder cancer category T2 T3 and T4a. A randomized multicenter study of preoperative irradiation and cystectomy versus radical irradiation and early salvage cystectomy for residual tumor. DAVECA protocol 8201. Danish Vesical Cancer Group. Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl 138: 193-201, 1991.
    18. Coppin CM, Gospodarowicz MK, James K, et al.: Improved local control of invasive bladder cancer by concurrent cisplatin and preoperative or definitive radiation. The National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group. J Clin Oncol 14 (11): 2901-7, 1996.
    19. Kachnic LA, Kaufman DS, Heney NM, et al.: Bladder preservation by combined modality therapy for invasive bladder cancer. J Clin Oncol 15 (3): 1022-9, 1997.
    20. Housset M, Maulard C, Chretien Y, et al.: Combined radiation and chemotherapy for invasive transitional-cell carcinoma of the bladder: a prospective study. J Clin Oncol 11 (11): 2150-7, 1993.
    21. Rödel C, Grabenbauer GG, Kühn R, et al.: Combined-modality treatment and selective organ preservation in invasive bladder cancer: long-term results. J Clin Oncol 20 (14): 3061-71, 2002.
    22. Shipley WU, Winter KA, Kaufman DS, et al.: Phase III trial of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with invasive bladder cancer treated with selective bladder preservation by combined radiation therapy and chemotherapy: initial results of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 89-03. J Clin Oncol 16 (11): 3576-83, 1998.
    23. Richie JP: Surgery for invasive bladder cancer. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 6 (1): 129-45, 1992.
    24. van der Werf-Messing BH, van Putten WL: Carcinoma of the urinary bladder category T2,3NXM0 treated by 40 Gy external irradiation followed by cesium137 implant at reduced dose (50%). Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 16 (2): 369-71, 1989.
    25. Pos F, Horenblas S, Dom P, et al.: Organ preservation in invasive bladder cancer: brachytherapy, an alternative to cystectomy and combined modality treatment? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 61 (3): 678-86, 2005.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: February 25, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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