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

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. The investigators analyzed changes in 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 immunotherapy increased significantly from 2.3% in 2007 to 36.5% in 2019, whereas use of chemotherapy declined significantly from 98.2% in 2004 to 63.5% in 2019.

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The median overall survival increased from 9.9 months in 2004 to 12.5 months in 2018. The 1-year overall survival rate increased from 38.6% to 50.8%.

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

The investigators 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.

This article originally appeared on Renal and Urology News