Go to content

Curative therapy for bladder cancer in routine clinical practice: a population-based outcomes study


Aims — Definitive therapy of bladder cancer involves cystectomy or radiotherapy; controversy exists regarding optimal management. Here we describe the management and outcomes of patients treated in routine practice.

Materials and Methods — Treatment records were linked to the Ontario Cancer Registry to identify all cases of bladder cancer in Ontario treated with cystectomy or radiotherapy in 1994-2008. Practice patterns are described in three study periods: 1994-1998, 1999-2003, 2004-2008. Logistic regression, Cox model and propensity score analyses were used to evaluate factors associated with treatment choice and survival.

Results — In total, 3879 cases (74%) underwent cystectomy and 1380 (26%) were treated with primary radiotherapy. Cystectomy use increased over time (66, 75, 78%), whereas radiotherapy decreased (34, 25, 22%), P < 0.001. There was substantial regional variation in the proportion of cases undergoing radiotherapy (range 16-51%). Five year cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival were 40 and 36% for surgical cases and 35 and 26% for radiotherapy cases (P < 0.001). In multivariate Cox model and propensity score analyses, there was no significant difference in CSS between surgery and radiotherapy (hazard ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91-1.08); radiotherapy was associated with slightly inferior overall survival (hazard ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.16).

Conclusion — Utilisation of cystectomy for bladder cancer in routine practice has increased over time with no evidence of a significant difference in CSS between radiotherapy and cystectomy.



Booth CM, Siemens DR, Li G, Peng Y, Kong W, Berman DM, Mackillop WJ. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2014; 26(8):506-14. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Research Programs

Associated Sites