Long-Term Oncological Outcomes in Patients Diagnosed With Nonmetastatic Plasmacytoid Variant of Bladder Cancer: A 20-Year University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Experience

Akshay Sood, Jan K. Rudzinski, Craig V. Labbate, Patrick J. Hensley, Kelly K. Bree, Charles C. Guo, Omar Alhalabi, Matthew T. Campbell, Arlene O. Siefker-Radtke, Neema Navai, Colin P.N. Dinney, Jianjun Gao, Ashish M. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The treated natural history of nonmetastatic plasmacytoid variant of bladder cancer (PV-BCa) is poorly understood owing to its rarity. We sought to examine the disease recurrence and metastasis patterns in this select group of patients in order to identify opportunities for intervention. Materials and Methods: We conducted a natural language processing algorithmeaugmented retrospective chart review of 56 consecutive patients who were treated with curative intent for nonmetastatic PV-BCa at our institution between 1998 and 2018. Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression methods were used for survival analyses. Results: The stage at presentation was: ≤ cT2N0 in 22 (39.3%), cT3N0 in 15 (26.8%), cT4N0 in 13 (23.2%), and ≥ cN1 in 6 patients (10.7%). Forty-nine patients (87.5%) received chemotherapy, and 42 (75%) were able to undergo the planned surgery. Notably, only 4 patients (7.2%) had pT0 stage, while 22 (52.4%) had pND disease at the time of surgery. At 36-month follow-up, 28.4% of patients (95% CI: 22.1%-34.5%) were alive and 22.2% (95% CI: 16.1%-28.5%) were free of metastatic disease. The benefit of surgical extirpation was stage specific: successful completion of surgery was associated with improved metastasis-free survival (at 36 months 32.4% vs 0%, log-rank P < .001) in patients with localized or locally advanced disease (≤cT2N0/cT3N0); however, in patients with regionally advanced disease (cT4N0/≥cN1), consolidative surgery following chemotherapy was not associated with improved metastasis-free survival (12.5% vs 10% at 36 months, log-rank P [ .49). The median time to metastasis from primary treatment end was 6.5 months (IQR: 2.9-14.7). The predominant site of recurrence/metastasis was the peritoneum (76.1%), either in isolation or along with extraperitoneal lesions. Salvage immunotherapy in these patients significantly reduced the risk of death (HR [ 0.11, P [ .001). Conclusions: PV-BCa is a disease with high lethality. Despite multimodal treatment, a vast majority of patients develop atypical intraperitoneal metastasis soon after therapy and rapidly succumb to it. Clinical trials evaluating utility of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy may be warranted in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • bladder cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • plasmacytoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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