Robot-assisted Versus Open Radical Cystectomy in Patients Receiving Perioperative Chemotherapy for Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer: The Oncologist’s Perspective from a Multicentre Study
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BACKGROUND: Little is known about the outcomes of robot-assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) compared to open radical cystectomy (ORC) combined with perioperative chemotherapy for muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer (UBC). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate surgical and oncological outcomes for RARC and ORC in multimodal treatment. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Data from 28 centres were collected for cystectomies performed between January 2000 and July 2013. INTERVENTION: RARC or ORC combined with perioperative chemotherapy for UBC. OUTCOME MEASURES AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Fisher's exact tests, χ2 tests, and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to compare the RARC and ORC groups. Logistic and Cox regression analyses were performed to evaluate potential prognostic factors. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 688 patients (n=603 ORC and n=85 RARC) were analysed; 60.6% received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and 45.1% adjuvant chemotherapy. No significant differences in baseline characteristics were found between the groups. The median time from surgery to adjuvant chemotherapy was 1.9 mo for both RARC and ORC groups. The median number of lymph nodes removed was 21 (interquartile range [IQR] 14-35) for RARC and 13 (IQR 8-21) for ORC (p<0.001); the results were confirmed in subgroup analyses. Multivariable analyses revealed no difference in the rate of positive surgical margins (p=0.54 and p=0.78), rate of neobladder diversion (p=0.33 and p=0.51), relapse-free survival (p=0.31 and p=0.23), and overall survival (p=0.63 and p=0.69). The retrospective nature of the data is the major limitation. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, no differences in efficacy outcomes or ability to deliver adjuvant chemotherapy were observed between RARC and ORC. The increasing use of RARC is justifiable from an oncological viewpoint. PATIENT SUMMARY: In a retrospective study of patients who received perioperative chemotherapy for urothelial bladder cancer, we found no difference in key outcomes between robot-assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) and open radical cystectomy. Performing RARC seems to be justifiable in the multidisciplinary setting.
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