Final pathologic specimen free of detectable disease (P0) is not uncommon in patients undergoing cystectomy for bladder cancer, especially in the era of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. To improve our understanding of its significance in a contemporary series, we performed an outcomes analysis of this cohort of patients.
Over the last 15 yr, 1104 patients with bladder cancer underwent radical cystectomy at our institution. Of these, 120 (11%) were pT0N0M0 (P0) in the surgical specimen and form the basis of this report. Survival data were estimated by method of Kaplan and Meier, with Cox proportional hazards regression model used to evaluate associations between survival and variables studied.
Clinical stages were cT1, 21 patients; cT2, 65; cT3b, 20; cT4a, 11; and cT4b, 3. The 5-yr estimates of overall (OS), disease-specific (DSS), and recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates were 84%, 88%, and 84%, respectively. With mean follow-up of 43 mo, 11 patients developed recurrences, 9 of whom died of disease. Median time to recurrence was 7.7 mo (range: 2.2–45 mo). On multivariate analysis, presence of lymphovascular invasion and concomitant carcinoma in situ on the transurethral resection of the bladder tumor specimen were the only significant prognostic factors associated with shorter OS (p = 0.04) and RFS (p = 0.049), respectively. Notably, patients who received preoperative chemotherapy (n = 77) had 5-yr survival rates similar to those of patients who did not.
Although patients who are P0 at cystectomy have a good prognosis, not all can be cured. The favorable prognosis conferred by a P0 state appears to be independent of whether this is achieved by neoadjuvant chemotherapy or by thorough transurethral resection before cystectomy.