Real-World Effectiveness of Chemotherapy in Elderly Patients With Metastatic Bladder Cancer in the United States



Outcomes for patients with metastatic bladder cancer (mBC) are generally poor and progressively worse following first-line (1L) chemotherapy.

To evaluate treatment patterns, survival outcomes, and characteristics of a large, real-world US population of elderly patients with advanced mBC receiving 1L and second-line (2L) treatment retrospectively.

We identified patients with advanced mBC (aged ≥66 years)—newly diagnosed between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2011—in the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program–Medicare linked database and assessed their palliative systemic chemotherapy treatments and survival outcomes.

Of 1703 eligible patients, 42% received 1L chemotherapy; 1L-treated patients tended to be younger and healthier than nontreated patients. Only 27% of 1L-treated patients received cisplatin-based chemotherapy, most commonly cisplatin-gemcitabine. Cisplatin-treated patients were younger and had fewer comorbidities than non-cisplatin–treated patients. Thirty-five percent of 1L-treated patients subsequently received 2L chemotherapy. Patients received a variety of 2L agents as combination chemotherapy (52%) or single-agent chemotherapy (39%). Median overall survival durations in 1L-treated and 2L-treated patients were 8.5 and 7.9 months, respectively.

Results from this retrospective SEER-Medicare database analysis underscore the historical inadequacies of 1L and 2L treatments in elderly patients with advanced mBC. Few patients were treated with 1L chemotherapy, a minority of whom received 1L cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and even fewer received 2L chemotherapy. These findings highlight the disconnect between 1L treatment in clinical trials and treatment in the real-world setting and the lack of standard approaches to 2L treatment in the United States.


Authors: Galsky, Matthew D. | Pal, Sumanta Kumar | Lin, Shih-Wen | Ogale, Sarika | Zivkovic, Marko | Simpson, Joseph | Derleth, Christina | Schiff, Christina | Sonpavde, Guru

Journal: Bladder Cancer, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 227-238, 2018

Keywords: Aged, delivery of health care, drug therapy, urinary bladder neoplasms