Overcoming the Chasm Between Evidence and Routine Practice for Bladder Cancer; Just a Quixotic Notion?
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There has been a failure to improve outcomes in bladder cancer over the last 30 years. This is despite clinical trial evidence showing a benefit of interventions such as neoadjuvant chemotherapy or concurrent radiosensitisation for non-metastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer. The bladder cancer population is characteristically elderly, who typically suffer from multiple comorbidities. Historically, radical cystectomy has been heralded as the treatment of choice, with radiotherapy being reserved for those with inoperable tumours or those unfit for major pelvic surgery, despite a lack of robust comparative or quality of life data to support one treatment recommendation over the other. Although patients with non-metastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer have potentially curable disease, a growing body of population-based analyses persistently highlights that most patients do not undergo curative-intent treatments - a trend that remains static. The causes for the disparity between evidence and routine practice is not clearly understood. Here, the facets of patient-centred evidence-based care, with respect to bladder conservation therapy, are examined, with proposals to reverse this unacceptable status quo.