Treatment Allocation and Survival in Patients Diagnosed with Nonmetastatic Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer: An Analysis of a National Patient Cohort in England

Joseph Byron John, Mohini Anna Varughese, Nicola Cooper, Kwok Wong, Luke Hounsome, Sarah Treece, John Samuel McGrath, Susan Harden

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: UK Bladder cancer survival remains low. Nonmetastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) is potentially curable. It is unclear how many patients receive nonradical treatment owing to advanced age, comorbidities, or alternative factors. Objective: To describe treatments and assess survival by disease stage and sex for all newly diagnosed nonmetastatic MIBC in England in 2016, and to observe associations between comorbidities and treatments. Design, setting, and participants: All new nonmetastatic MIBC diagnoses in England in 2016 were identified retrospectively using National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, Radiotherapy Datasets, Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy, and Hospital Episode Statistics databases. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Age, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and treatments were ascertained, and 1-yr survival was estimated using Pohar-Perme and Kaplan-Meier methods. Results and limitations: Nonmetastatic MIBC diagnoses were registered for 2519 patients (median age 76 yr). Radical cystectomy was performed in 24%, 37% of whom received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Radical radiotherapy was performed in 29%, 48% of whom received NAC. NAC alongside radical treatment was associated with higher 1-yr overall survival (OS)—91% (88–93%) with NAC and 83% (80–85%) without (p = 0.05). Nonradical treatments occurred for 47%, with corresponding lower OS. Females with stage II and III disease had significantly lower net survival (NS). Radically treated patients had lower CCIs. Conclusions: This analysis provides an overview of all nonmetastatic MIBC diagnosed in England in 2016. Just over half of the patients received curative-intent treatment. Of them, only 43% received NAC. One-year OS was disparate, correlating with treatment intensity. Those receiving NAC and radical therapy demonstrated highest OS. Female patients had significantly inferior NS. The data highlight a prescient unmet research need to understand the patient demographic and reasons behind treatment allocation, to address the poor survival observed in those treated nonradically, and the low NAC utilisation. The significantly aged population requires specific future focus. Patient summary: We looked at all patients in England in 2016 who were diagnosed with bladder cancer invading the bladder muscle. Many patients were elderly, and the most intensive treatments aiming for cure were frequently not used. Survival in women was found to be considerably worse, as was survival for less intensively treated patients. Nonmetastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients represent an elderly cohort, often treated with palliative intent or without neoadjuvant chemotherapy when radically treated. There is a need to better understand the patient demographic and reasons behind treatment allocation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Cystectomy
  • Muscle-invasive bladder cancer
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Treatment
  • Urological oncology


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