A systematic review of neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer

Joshua J. Meeks, Joaquim Bellmunt, Bernard H. Bochner, Noel W. Clarke, Siamak Daneshmand, Matthew D. Galsky, Noah M. Hahn, Seth P. Lerner, Malcolm Mason, Thomas Powles, Cora N. Sternberg, Guru Sonpavde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Context: Muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) is a disease with a pattern of predominantly distant and early recurrences. Neoadjuvant cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy has demonstrated improved outcomes for MIBC. Objective: To review the data supporting perioperative chemotherapy and emerging regimens for MIBC. Evidence acquisition: Medline databases were searched for original articles published before April 1, 2012, with the search terms bladder cancer, urothelial cancer, radical cystectomy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and adjuvant chemotherapy. Proceedings from the last 5 yr of major conferences were also searched. Novel and promising drugs that have reached clinical trial evaluation were included. Evidence synthesis: The major findings are addressed in an evidence-based fashion. Prospective trials and important preclinical data were analyzed. Conclusions: Cisplatin-based neoadjuvant combination chemotherapy is an established standard, improving overall survival in MIBC. Pathologic complete response appears to be an intermediate surrogate for survival, but this finding requires further validation. Definitive data to support adjuvant chemotherapy do not exist, and there are no data to support perioperative therapy in cisplatin-ineligible patients. Utilization of neoadjuvant cisplatin is low, attributable in part to patient/physician choice and the advanced age of patients, who often have multiple comorbidities including renal and/or cardiac dysfunction. Trials are using the neoadjuvant paradigm to detect incremental pathologic response to chemobiologic regimens and brief neoadjuvant single-agent therapy to screen for the biologic activity of agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Bladder cancer
  • Muscle invasive
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Urothelial cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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