Objectives: To analyze the treatment outcomes of patients with micropapillary bladder cancer (MPBC). MPBC is a rare variant of urothelial carcinoma with aggressive clinical behavior. Radical cystectomy is considered the standard approach for treatment of patients with localized disease; however, the role of perioperative systemic therapy has been poorly defined. Material and Methods: A retrospective review identified 38 consecutive patients who had been treated at our institution for MPBC from 2000 to 2010. The patient data were analyzed for the pre- and postoperative clinicopathologic features, treatment course, and cancer-specific survival. Results: The median follow-up of surviving patients after cystectomy was 17 months (range 2-75). At the initial transurethral biopsy, 28 patients (74%) had clinical Stage T2N0 or less. In this group, 26 (93%) of 28 were upstaged to nonorgan-confined and/or lymph node-positive disease. Overall, 32 patients (86%) had evidence of lymph node metastasis on the final pathologic examination. All patients with cTis-T1 who had undergone initial bladder-sparing therapy with bacille Calmette- Guérin had pathologically advanced disease at cystectomy. All 15 patients who had received perioperative cisplatin-based chemotherapy died of metastatic disease. The 5-year overall survival rate was 40% (95% confidence interval 16-64). Conclusions: MPBC is an aggressive disease with a high likelihood of regional lymph node metastasis at the initial presentation. Although radical cystectomy plays a critical role in treatment, systemic neoadjuvant chemotherapy might be a more appropriate strategy than immediate cystectomy. Because of the poor response to current chemotherapy agents, the development of new and effective drugs for this subset of patients could be needed.
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