Locally advanced bladder cancer is associated with a high risk of local recurrence and distant metastases. Clinical and pathologic variables have been useful in predicting outcome in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Recently, a number of molecular prognostic markers have been identified that help predict tumor aggressiveness, response to chemotherapy, and survival. Transitional cell carcinoma is a chemosensitive tumor. The early use of chemotherapy to reduce the risk of recurrence and improve survival has been the focus of many randomized clinical trials. Unfortunately, the majority of studies have failed to show a survival advantage for chemotherapy-treated patients. Well-designed prospective trials that target high-risk patients, defined by clinical, pathological, and molecular features, and incorporate new more tolerable chemotherapeutic agents are needed to clarify the benefit of early chemotherapy.
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