Patient-reported Quality of Life Outcomes in Patients Treated for Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer with Radiotherapy ± Chemotherapy in the BC2001 Phase III Randomised Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND:

BC2001, the largest randomised trial of bladder-sparing treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, demonstrated improvement of local control and bladder cancer-specific survival from the addition of concomitant 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C to radiotherapy.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the impact of treatment on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of BC2001 participants.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

458 UK patients with T2-T4a N0 M0 transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.

INTERVENTION:

Patients were randomised to the chemotherapy comparison (radiotherapy, 178, or chemoradiotherapy, 182); and/or to the radiotherapy comparison (standard, 108, or reduced high-dose volume radiotherapy, 111).

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Patients completed Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bladder(FACT-BL) questionnaires at baseline, end of treatment (EoT), and 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months after radiotherapy. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in the bladder cancer subscale (BLCS) at 12 months.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS:

Data were available for 331 (92%) and 204 (93%) participants at baseline and for 192 (54%) and 114 (52%) at 12 months for the chemotherapy and radiotherapy comparisons, respectively. HRQoL declined at EoT (BLCS -5.06 [99% confidence interval: -6.12 to -4.00, p< 0.001]; overall FACT-B TOTAL score -8.22 [-10.76 to -5.68, p< 0.01]), recovering to baseline at 6 months and remaining similar to baseline subsequently. There was no significant difference between randomised groups at any time point.

CONCLUSIONS:

Immediately following (chemo)radiotherapy, a significant proportion of patients report declines in HRQoL, which improve to baseline after 6 months. Two-thirds of patients report stable or improved HRQoL on long-term follow-up. There is no evidence of impairment in HRQoL resulting from the addition of chemotherapy.

PATIENT SUMMARY:

Quality of life of bladder cancer patients treated with radiotherapy±chemotherapy deteriorates during treatment, but improves to at least pretreatment levels within 6 months. Addition of chemotherapy to radiotherapy does not affect patient-reportedquality of life.