For more than a decade the MVAC regimen has been gold standard chemotherapy in bladder cancer, albeit that the toxicity associated with this therapy hampered its use in many of the typical elderly patients with metastatic disease. New active agents have been identified, combinations of these new agents with platinum compounds (doublets) followed, and results have become available of a phase III randomized trial of the gemcitabine and cisplatin doublet versus MVAC, that has revealed an efficacy-toxicity profile in favor of the gemcitabine-cisplatin regimen. During the conduct of this study, investigators in Spain and in the United States have incorporated both gemcitabine and paclitaxel in either cisplatin- or carboplatin based triplet regimens that, albeit thus far only in phase II studies, have indicated notable activity and favorable median survival figures, particularly in patients with visceral disease. A randomized study of the paclitaxel-cisplatin-gemcitabine triplet versus gemcitabine-cisplatin is ongoing.

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Critical Reviews in Oncology / Hematology
Department of Medical Oncology