Tolerance of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy in Elderly Patients With Bladder Cancer
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Bladder-sparing radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy may be a reasonable alternative to cystectomy in patients with invasive bladder cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine the tolerance of combined treatment in elderly patients. In this retrospective study, the records of patients 70 or more years of age with stage T2-T4a, N0, M0 disease who were treated with bladder-sparing regimens between 1985 and 2000 were examined for toxicity. Of 149 consecutive patients treated for cancer of the bladder, 14 patients met eligibility criteria. The median age was 79 years. At a median follow-up of 17 months, the median survival was 19 months. All patients had at least mild toxicity, with 6 of 14 patients having grade III to IV toxicity. Grade III to IV toxicities included one patient with grade IV neutropenia, three with grade III gastrointestinal toxicities, one patient with grade III urinary frequency, one patient with grade IV ureteral obstruction who required stent placement, and one episode of hydration-induced grade III heart failure. Two of 14 patients stopped chemotherapy and 5 patients required dose reductions for toxicity. The observed rates of toxicity compare favorably with studies of bladder-sparing therapy in patients with median ages less than 70 years. Our study shows that bladder-sparing radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy is feasible in patients 70 or more years of age, and should be considered for such patients if they are inoperable or strongly wish to avoid cystectomy.
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