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The distinction pathologically of invasive tumors confined to the muscularis propria from those that penetrate the bladder wall and invade the perivesical fat or adjacent organs is a critical prognostic determinant. Nodal metastases are evident in approximately one half of patients with tumors pathologically staged as P3b or greater. Five-year survival rates after radical cystectomy with or without preoperative irradiation for stage P3b tumors range from 17% to 46%. Long-term survival is the exception when bladder cancer invades the pelvic sidewall or adjacent structures, yet cystectomy can provide palliation and accurate staging and can be considered in the context of combination therapy. Supravesical diversion can provide palliation when there is nodal disease above the bifurcation or pelvic fixation. The optimal role of adjuvant chemotherapy in the treatment of regionally advanced bladder cancer is yet to be defined. Tannock has delineated the many serious pitfalls inherent in interpreting nonrandomized trials of new therapies (see also his article elsewhere in this issue). Randomized trials are currently under way to determine if survival can be improved with adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the most efficacious timing of chemotherapy administration. Clinicians should generally resist the tendency to treat all patients with these regimens until it is clear that we are truly improving the outcome of therapy and the quality of life for our patients.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992LA25700010
View details for PubMedID 1279876