Second-line systemic therapies for metastatic urothelial carcinoma: a population-based cohort analysis

E. S. Tsang, C. Forbes, K. N. Chi, B. J. Eigl, S. Parimi


Introduction Patients with urothelial carcinoma (uc) have a poor prognosis after progression on first-line cisplatinbased chemotherapy. Real-world data about second-line cytotoxic therapies are limited. We sought to characterize patients with metastatic uc who receive more than 1 line of systemic therapy and to describe their treatments and outcomes.

Methods Using BC Cancer’s pharmacy database, we identified patients with documented metastatic uc who had received more than 1 line of systemic therapy. A retrospective chart review was then performed to collect clinicopathologic, treatment, and outcomes data.

Results The 51 included patients, of whom 42 were men (82%), had a median age of 65 years (range: 38–81 years). Sites of metastasis included lymph nodes (n = 30), bone (n = 7), lung (n = 9), and peritoneum (n = 2). Second-line chemotherapy regimens included gemcitabine–cisplatin [gc (n = 14)], paclitaxel (n = 24), docetaxel (n = 12), and an oral topoisomerase i inhibitor (n = 1). Median time to progression (ttp) and overall survival (os) were 2.0 and 6.83 months respectively. Compared with patients who received a different agent, patients who had experienced a prior response to first-line gc and who were re-challenged with second-line gc had a better median ttp (11.0 months vs. 6.0 months, p = 0.02) and survived longer (4.0 months vs. 1.0 months, p = 0.02). No differences in os between non-gc regimens were evident.

Conclusions In patients with metastatic uc, overall outcomes remain poor, but compared with patients receiving other agents, the subgroup of patients re-challenged with second-line gc demonstrated improved ttp. Conventional chemotherapy regimens provide only modest benefits in the second-line setting and have largely been replaced with immunotherapy.


bladder cancer; metastatic disease; urothelial cancer; second-line chemotherapy; systemic therapy

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)