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Volume 16, Number 5, 2011

Bladder preservation by concurrent chemoradiation for muscle-invasive bladder cancer: Applicability in low-income countries

Jamal Khader, Naim Farah, Ahmed Salem


Background: Radical cystectomy is the standard treatment for patients withmuscle-invasive
urinary bladder cancer; however, is associated with major treatment – related morbidity.
Furthermore, a significant proportion of patients are deemed unsuitable for surgery due
to inoperability, advanced age, and/or comorbid conditions. As such, several groups have
explored effectiveness of less radical therapeutic strategies that aim at bladder preservation.
Nonetheless, there is scarcity of reports assessing the applicability of urinary bladdersparing
outside developed countries.
Aim: Determine the achievable outcomes for patients with muscle-invasive urinary bladder
cancer treated via bladder-sparing techniques in a low income country.
Materials and methods: Fourteen consecutive patients with a diagnosis ofmuscle-invasive urinary bladder cancer (clinical stage; T2-3N0M0) were treated via a bladder-sparing approach
at King Hussein Cancer Center (Amman, Jordan) between 2005 and 2009. Records were electronically retrieved and retrospectively analyzed and included 11 males and 3 females from 41 to 74 years of age (median age, 61). Initial therapy consisted of trans-urethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) followed by induction chemotherapy then irradiation (4500cGy) with concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy. Urological evaluation directed additional therapy in a proportion of patients with irradiation (up to 6400 cGy) in patients who
achieved CR.
Results: Eleven patients were evaluable for pathological response at time of re-staging; of
whom 8 (73%) achieved CR and 3 (27%) achieved partial response (PR). In all but one patient;
combined-modality treatment was well tolerated. After a median follow-up of 18.5 months
(range, 3–48 months); 5 of 8 (62.5%) patients with CR were alive.
Conclusions: Bladder-sparing strategies via concurrent chemoradiation for muscle-invasive
bladder cancer results in an acceptable rate of complete pathological response with adequate
short-term outcomes. This approach appears applicable in low-income countries.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2011; 16(5) : 178-183

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