Bladder Sparing Approaches for Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancers.
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OPINION STATEMENT: Organ preservation has been increasingly utilised in the management of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Multiple bladder preservation options exist, although the approach of maximal TURBT performed along with chemoradiation is the most favoured. Phase III trials have shown superiority of chemoradiotherapy compared to radiotherapy alone. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy gives local control outcomes comparable to those of radical surgery, but seemingly more superior when considering quality of life. Bladder-preserving techniques represent an alternative for patients who are unfit for cystectomy or decline major surgical intervention; however, these patients will need lifelong rigorous surveillance. It is important to emphasise to the patients opting for organ preservation the need for lifelong bladder surveillance as risk of recurrence remains even years after radical chemoradiotherapy treatment. No randomised control trials have yet directly compared radical cystectomy with bladder-preserving chemoradiation, leaving the age-old question of superiority of one modality over another unanswered. Radical cystectomy and chemoradiation, however, must be seen as complimentary treatments rather than competing treatments. Meticulous patient selection is vital in treatment modality selection with the success of recent trials within the field of bladder preservation only being possible through this application of meticulous selection criteria compared to previous decades. A multidisciplinary approach with radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and urologists is needed to closely monitor patients who undergo bladder preservation in order to optimise outcomes.
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