Purpose: The combination of gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GC) is a standard regimen in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer. A phase I/II study suggested that a three-drug regimen that included paclitaxel had greater antitumor activity and might improve survival. Patients and Methods: We conducted a randomized phase III study to compare paclitaxel/cisplatin/ gemcitabine (PCG) with GC in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma. Primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Secondary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS), overall response rate, and toxicity. Results: From 2001 to 2004, 626 patients were randomly assigned; 312 patients were assigned to PCG, and 314 patients were assigned to GC. After a median follow-up of 4.6 years, the median OS was 15.8 months on PCG versus 12.7 months on GC (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; P = .075). OS in the subgroup of all eligible patients was significantly longer on PCG (3.2 months; HR, 0.82; P = .03), as was the case in patients with bladder primary tumors. PFS was not significantly longer on PCG (HR, 0.87; P = .11). Overall response rate was 55.5% on PCG and 43.6% on GC (P = .0031). Both treatments were well tolerated, with more thrombocytopenia and bleeding on GC than PCG (11.4% v 6.8%, respectively; P = .05) and more febrile neutropenia on PCG than GC (13.2% v 4.3%, respectively; P < .001). Conclusion: The addition of paclitaxel to GC provides a higher response rate and a 3.1-month survival benefit that did not reach statistical significance. Novel approaches will be required to obtain major improvements in survival of incurable urothelial cancer.

dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2011.38.6979, hdl.handle.net/1765/62814
Journal of Clinical Oncology
Department of Medical Oncology

Bellmunt, J, von der Maase, H, Mead, G.M, Skoneczna, I, de Santis, M, Daugaard, G, … de Wit, R. (2012). Randomized phase III study comparing paclitaxel/cisplatin/ gemcitabine and gemcitabine/cisplatin in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer without prior systemic therapy: EORTC intergroup study 30987. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 30(10), 1107–1113. doi:10.1200/JCO.2011.38.6979