Median overall survival of patients with metastatic bladder cancer improved from 2004 to 2019, a trend possibly related to the advent of immune-checkpoint therapies, investigators reported at the 38th Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology (EAU23) in Milan, Italy.

A team from University of Texas Health in San Antonio studied 10,895 patients with newly diagnosed metastatic bladder cancer from 2014 to 2019 identified using the National Cancer Database. They analyzed changes in the first-line systemic treatment and changes in 1-year overall survival. Of these patients, 9229 received systemic chemotherapy and 1666 received systemic immunotherapy.

The use of systemic immunotherapy increased significantly from 2.3% in 2007 to 36.5% in 2019, whereas use of systemic chemotherapy declined significantly from 98.2% in 2004 to 63.5% in 2019, Furkan Dursun, MD, reported on behalf of his colleagues. The median survival time and the 1-year overall survival rate increased from 9.9 months and 38.6%, respectively, in 2004 to 12.5 months and 50.8%, respectively, in 2018.

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In addition, from 2009 to 2018, the 1-year overall survival rate rose gradually from 38.3% to 53.6% among recipients of systemic chemotherapy and from 44.4% to 46.3% among recipients of systemic immunotherapy.

The authors acknowledged study limitations, including the retrospective design, lack of information on cancer-specific survival and causes of death, and the possible presence of confounding variables.


Garg H, Bhandari M, Novel OV, et al. Impact of systemic treatments on overall survival in metastatic urothelial bladder cancer: A time-trend analysis. Presented at: EAU23, Milan, Italy, March 10-13. Abstract A0553.