Gemcitabine and cisplatin neoadjuvant chemotherapy for muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma: Predicting response and assessing outcomes

Nilay M. Gandhi, Alexander Baras, Enrico Munari, Sheila Faraj, Leonardo O. Reis, Jen Jane Liu, Max Kates, Mohammad Obaidul Hoque, David Berman, Noah M. Hahn, Mario Eisenberger, George J. Netto, Mark P. Schoenberg, Trinity J. Bivalacqua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate gemcitabine-cisplatin (GC) neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy (NAC) for pathologic response (pR) and cancer-specific outcomes following radical cystectomy (RC) for muscle-invasive bladder cancer and identify clinical parameters associated with pR. Materials and methods: We studied 150 consecutive cases of muscle-invasive bladder cancer that received GC NAC followed by open RC (2000-2013). A cohort of 121 patients treated by RC alone was used for comparison. Pathologic response and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were compared. We created the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dose Index to characterize chemotherapeutic dosing regimens and accurately assess sufficient neoadjuvant dosing regarding patient tolerance. Results: No significant difference was noted in 5-year CSS between GC NAC (58%) and non-NAC cohorts (61%). The median follow-up was 19.6 months (GC NAC) and 106.5 months (non-NAC). Patients with residual non-muscle-invasive disease after GC NAC exhibit similar 5-year CSS relative to patients with no residual carcinoma (P = 0.99). NAC pR (≤pT1) demonstrated improved 5-year CSS rates (90.6% vs. 27.1%, P<0.01) and decreased nodal positivity rates (0% vs. 41.3%, P<0.01) when compared with nonresponders (≥pT2). Clinicopathologic outcomes were inferior in NAC pathologic nonresponders when compared with the entire RC-only-treated cohort. A lower pathologic nonresponder rate was seen in patients tolerating sufficient dosing of NAC as stratified by the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dose Index (P = 0.049), congruent with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. A multivariate classification tree model demonstrated 60 years of age or younger and clinical stage cT2 as significant of NAC response (P< 0.05). Conclusions: Pathologic nonresponders fare worse than patients proceeding directly to RC alone do. Multiple predictive models incorporating clinical, histopathologic, and molecular features are currently being developed to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from GC NAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204.e1-204.e7
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Bladder cancer
  • Gemcitabine-cisplatin
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Pathologic response
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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