Bladder cancer: Adjuvant chemotherapy, systematic review and IPD meta-analysis

Adjuvant chemotherapy in invasive bladder cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data

Is it helpful to give chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy or surgery to people with bladder cancer?

What was this study about?

Around the world, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year. Most of these are men. Sometimes the cancer spreads, but stays within the bladder - this is called invasive bladder cancer. Doctors usually treat this type of bladder cancer with surgery (to try to remove the tumour) and/or radiotherapy.

We did a systematic review and meta analysis of individual patient data, looking at whether it is helpful to give chemotherapy after surgery and/or radiotherapy to people with invasive bladder cancer. It brought together information from similar randomised controlled trials. These trials compared what happened to people who had been given chemotherapy as well as surgery and/or radiotherapy with those who had only had surgery and/or radiotherapy.

What difference did this study make?

This study suggested that giving chemotherapy as well as surgery and/or radiotherapy might help people with bladder cancer. But the researchers found that the trials were of poor quality, so they concluded that these results were not reliable.

Because of the poor quality of the trials considered in this study, the researchers called for more research, involving more people with bladder cancer, so that a reliable conclusion could be reached about whether chemotherapy is helpful.

Advanced Bladder Cancer (ABC) Meta-analysis Collaboration. Adjuvant chemotherapy in invasive bladder cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data. European Urology. 2005;48(2):189-201

Type of study

Meta-analyses

Contact details

MRCCTU.meta-analysis@ucl.ac.uk

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

This study was published in 2005. It brought together the results of trials that had been carried out up to 2004.

Where did it take place?

The study was carried out by the Medical Research council in the UK, but brought together results of trials from around the world.

Who was included?

Patients with invasive bladder cancer who took part in randomised controlled trials comparing the use of chemotherapy with no chemotherapy. The study brought together 6 trials from all over the world. These trials included nearly 500 patients with invasive bladder cancer.