Small Cell Carcinoma of Urinary Bladder Incidence Up

Elderly Caucasian men at highest risk; age, race, marital status, TNM staging impact prognosis

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of small cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCCB) increased from 1991 to 2005, with elderly Caucasian men being the most commonly affected, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Cancer.

Eugene J. Koay, M.D., Ph.D., from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues described the clinical features of patients with SCCB. Data were collected from 1991 to 2005 on incidence, sociodemographics, prognostic variables, and treatment trends from 642 patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) limited database. Chemotherapy use was estimated using data from 533 patients from the SEER-Medicare database.

The investigators found that, from 1991 to 2005, the incidence of SCCB increased significantly, from 0.05 to 0.14 cases per 100,000 population, with about 500 new cases of SCCB per year. The most commonly affected demographic was elderly Caucasian men; and age, race, marital status, and tumor/node/metastasis staging were significant prognostic variables. Median overall survival was found to be 11 months. The overall and cancer-specific survival rates of patients with stage IV disease without distant metastasis were similar to those of patients who had stage I through III disease; but compared with patients with distant metastases, they had significantly improved survival. The most common surgical treatment, representing 55 percent of patients, was transurethral resection of the bladder tumor. There was no significant change in the receipt of radiation and chemotherapy during the study period.

"A simpler staging system (i.e., limited stage versus extensive stage) may be appropriate for patients with SCCB," the authors write.

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