A Phase 1/2 Trial of a Combination of Paclitaxel and Trastuzumab With Daily Irradiation or Paclitaxel Alone With Daily Irradiation After Transurethral Surgery for Noncystectomy Candidates With Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer (Trial NRG Oncology RTOG 0524)



Bladder preservation therapy is an effective treatment for muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma (UC). In this study we treated noncystectomy candidates with daily radiation and weekly paclitaxel for 7 weeks. Patients whose tumors showed her2/neu overexpression were additionally treated with weekly trastuzumab.


Sixty-eight evaluable patients were treated with radiation therapy and either paclitaxel + trastuzumab (group 1) or paclitaxel alone (group 2). Groups were assigned on the basis of her2/neu immunohistochemistry results. Patients received 1.8-Gy fractions to a total dose of 64.8 Gy. The primary endpoint of the study was treatment-related toxicity, and secondary endpoints included complete response (CR) rate, protocol completion rate, and survival.


A total of 20 evaluable patients were treated in group 1 and 46 patients in group 2. Acute treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were observed in 7 of 20 patients in group 1 (35%) and 14 of 46 patients in group 2 (30.4%). Protocol therapy was completed by 60% (group 1) and 74% (group 2) of patients. Most incompletions were due to toxicity, and the majority of AEs were gastrointestinal, including 1 grade 5 AE (group 1). Two other deaths (both in group 2) were unrelated to protocol therapy. No unexpected cardiac, hematologic, or other toxicities were observed. The CR rate at 1 year was 72% for group 1 and 68% for group 2.


In patients with muscle-invasive UC who are not candidates for cystectomy, daily radiation combined with paclitaxel is an effective treatment strategy with a high completion rate and moderate toxicity. In patients with her2/neu-positive tumors, a group generally considered to have worse outcomes, the addition of trastuzumab appears to result in comparable efficacy and toxicity. Further biomarker-driven trials should be undertaken in advancing treatment of this challenging disease.

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