The Chemotherapy of Bladder Carcinoma: Systemic Therapy

  • W. G. Harker
  • F. M. Torti
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 85)


While chemotherapy advances in other genitourinary malignancies (e.g., Wilm’s tumor and testicular carcinoma) have led to improved disease-free survival and presumed cure, drug therapy of bladder carcinoma remains in a developmental stage. Carcinoma of the urinary bladder ranks seventh in males and 13th in females among causes of death in the United States due to cancer. Approximately 30,000 new cases are reported annually in the U.S. with approximately 10,000 deaths per year attributed to bladder carcinoma [56]. The incidence in males is threefold that in females. Over 60% of these patients are between the ages of 50 and 70 years old [15]. Surgery and radiation are curative modalities. Preoperative staging of the extent of tumor infiltration of the bladder wall is highly predictive of complete resectability and thus probability of cure. While combined modality therapy with preoperative radiotherapy and radical cystectomy has been shown to reduce the loco-regional recurrence rate, there is little evidence that therapy alters the subsequent development of distant metastases [72], It is not surprising then that the 5-year survival of patients with invasive bladder carcinoma treated with the most expert radiation therapy and surgery, alone or in combination, is between 20% and 50% [16]. Systemic chemotherapy is the only treatment modality with the potential for cure in patients presenting with locally unresectable disease or who develop local or disseminated metastatic involvement after presumed curative initial therapy.


Bladder Cancer Radical Cystectomy Transitional Cell Carcinoma Bladder Carcinoma Proc ASCO 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. G. Harker
    • 1
  • F. M. Torti
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Medical Oncology, Department of MedicineStanford University Medical CenterStanfordUSA

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