Understanding avoidance, refusal, and abandonment of chemotherapy before and after cystectomy for bladder cancer
Rehman S, Crane A, Din R, Raza SJ, Shi Y, Wilding G, Levine EG, George S, Pili R, Trump DL, Guru KA. Urology. 2013 Dec;82(6):1370-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2013.07.055. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

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Department of Urology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.


OBJECTIVE: To analyze trends in perioperative chemotherapy and optimize use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer.

METHODS: From 2005-2012, 284 consecutive patients underwent robot-assisted radical cystectomy at our facility. Patients with disease ≥T2 and nodal involvement and positive surgical margins were reviewed and considered candidates for referral to medical oncology for chemotherapy. The study was conducted in two phases: phase 1 included 242 consecutive patients between 2005 and 2011, and phase 2 analyzed the effect of changes in 42 patients during a 1-year period (2011-2012).

RESULTS: In phase 1, 148 patients (61%) were candidates for neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Consultation for NAC was sought for 44 patients (29%), and 104 (71%) did not receive consultation. Of the 44 patients, 36% received NAC, 7% refused, 32% were recommended for immediate cystectomy, and 25% did not receive NAC for other reasons. Phase 2 was more stringent, with a multidisciplinary approach. Significant improvement in referral and NAC use was seen. About 78% vs 30% of patients were seen by medical oncology for consideration of NAC before robot-assisted radical cystectomy and 71% vs 36% received NAC compared with phase 1. The NAC utilization rate improved from 10.8% to 55% over 1 year with a diligent multidisciplinary approach. Medical comorbidities were the main reason for patients not receiveing adjuvant chemotherapy (AC; 30% and 33%).

CONCLUSION: A multidisciplinary approach and coordination of services can help optimize the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer.