The 20-year mortality rate among patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer is 71%, according to a study of Swedish patients.

Investigators who analyzed a large population-based cohort of patients with bladder cancer that had more than 20 years of follow-up found that muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) results in a high risk of cancer-specific death, according to data presented at the European Association of Urology 2020 virtual congress.

The 5- and 20-year mortality rates were 60% and 71%, respectively, for patients with MIBC compared with 17% and 25% for those with high-grade non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and 0.5% and 2% for those with low-grade NMIBC, Linda Day, MD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues reported in a poster presentation.

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Dr Day’s team studied 535 patients — 361 men (67.5%) and 174 women (32.5%) — diagnosed with bladder cancer from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1996 in Stockholm County. Patients had a median age of 72 years. Of the 535 patients, 214 (40%) had low-grade NMIBC, 195 (36.4%) had high-grade NMIBC, and 126 (23.6%) had MIBC. A total of 143 patients (27%) died from bladder cancer.

“High-grade NMIBC has a relatively high risk of bladder cancer death, even many years after diagnosis,” the authors concluded, adding that their results emphasize the importance of close monitoring of these patients.

Of the patients with MIBC, high-grade NMIBC, and low-grade NMIBC, 62 (49%), 33 (17%), and 3 (1%) received curative treatment, either radical cystectomy or radiotherapy.


Dey L, Charap A, Renström-Koskela L, et al. 20-year follow-up of the 1995-1996 Stockholm bladder cancer project. Presented at: EAU20 Virtual Congress; July 17 to 19, 2020. Poster 1099.