The prognosis for any patient with metastatic or recurrent transitional cell cancer is poor. The proper management of recurrence depends on the sites of recurrence, extent of prior therapy, and individual patient considerations. Chemotherapy regimens that have been shown effective for metastatic bladder cancer have generally been applied to transitional cell cancers arising from other sites. Patients with distant metastases have a poor prognosis and can be appropriately offered treatment on a clinical trial.
In patients with metastatic or recurrent transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, combination chemotherapy has produced high response rates and occasional complete responses.[1,2] Results from a randomized trial that compared methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (M-VAC) to single-agent cisplatin in advanced bladder cancer show a significant advantage with M-VAC in both response rate and median survival. The overall response rate with M-VAC in this cooperative group trial was 39%.
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Other chemotherapy agents that have shown activity in metastatic transitional cell cancer include the following:[4,5,6,7,8][Level of evidence: 3iiiDiv]
Ifosfamide, gallium, and pemetrexed have shown limited activity in patients previously treated with cisplatin.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with metastatic transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter. 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.
Sternberg CN, Yagoda A, Scher HI, et al.: Methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin for advanced transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium. Efficacy and patterns of response and relapse. Cancer 64 (12): 2448-58, 1989.
Harker WG, Meyers FJ, Freiha FS, et al.: Cisplatin, methotrexate, and vinblastine (CMV): an effective chemotherapy regimen for metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract. A Northern California Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 3 (11): 1463-70, 1985.
Loehrer PJ Sr, Einhorn LH, Elson PJ, et al.: A randomized comparison of cisplatin alone or in combination with methotrexate, vinblastine, and doxorubicin in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma: a cooperative group study. J Clin Oncol 10 (7): 1066-73, 1992.
Roth BJ: Preliminary experience with paclitaxel in advanced bladder cancer. Semin Oncol 22 (3 Suppl 6): 1-5, 1995.
Witte RS, Elson P, Bono B, et al.: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group phase II trial of ifosfamide in the treatment of previously treated advanced urothelial carcinoma. J Clin Oncol 15 (2): 589-93, 1997.
Einhorn LH, Roth BJ, Ansari R, et al.: Phase II trial of vinblastine, ifosfamide, and gallium combination chemotherapy in metastatic urothelial carcinoma. J Clin Oncol 12 (11): 2271-6, 1994.
Pollera CF, Ceribelli A, Crecco M, et al.: Weekly gemcitabine in advanced bladder cancer: a preliminary report from a phase I study. Ann Oncol 5 (2): 182-4, 1994.
Sweeney CJ, Roth BJ, Kabbinavar FF, et al.: Phase II study of pemetrexed for second-line treatment of transitional cell cancer of the urothelium. J Clin Oncol 24 (21): 3451-7, 2006.
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September 04, 2014
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