Combination chemotherapy in metastatic urothelial cancer

A. Sella*, D. Flex, D. Gafni, O. Rabinovitz, A. Sulkes, J. Baniel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer is based on the combination of cisplatin, methotrexate, vinblastine and adriamycin (M-VAC). From November 1994 to May 1997 we treated 25 patients (51 men, 3 women, aged 50-77) with M-VAC. The tumor originated from the urinary bladder in 14 (56%) and the upper urinary tract in 11 (44%). Disease sites included: primary - 5 (25%), lymph nodes - 17 (68%), lungs - 10 (40%), bones - 8 (32%), pelvic mass and liver each - 4 (16%), with an overall median of 2 (1-5) sites per patient. 9 patients (38%) had complete responses and 8 (32%) had partial responses, for an overall response rate of 68% (95% Cl 48.5%-85%). The median duration of response was 15.3 (1.6-29.6+) months. Median survival of responders was 19.1 (4.8-35.7+) months compared to 6.2 (0.7-11.2) for the non-responders (p<0.05). 13 (52%) of patients are alive, of whom 8 (32%) are free of disease and 5 with a single metastatic site on presentation at follow-up. In the 118 patients cycles we observed grade III-IV toxicity: myelosuppression 53 (45%), thrombocytopenia 4 (3%), stomatitis 8 (6.7%), diarrhea 3 (2.5%). There were 22 infectious episodes and 1 patient died of sepsis. We achieved a high response rate with the combination M-VAC. However, only a third had long-term disease-free states and treatment was associated with excessive toxicity. Therapeutic approaches with new agents are required to improve the response rate and toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-271+339-340
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Combination chemotherapy in metastatic urothelial cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this