Cancer treatment is associated with a clinically meaningful survival benefit in older, medically complex patients with superficial bladder cancer (SBC), according to a study published online Oct. 5 in  Cancer

Tullika Garg, MD, MPH, from Geisinger in Danville, Pa., And colleagues evaluated the association between treatment of SBC and 10-year mortality in 1,800 medically complex patients aged ≥60 years.

The authors identified 1800 older (aged ≥60 years) patients with SBC (American Joint Committee on Cancer stage ≤I) from 2 community-based health systems who received treatment (bladder installation and/or transurethral resection ) or observation.

Cox proportional hazards regression was performed adjusting for age, sex, race, health system, stage of disease/grade, and MCC (≥2 baseline chronic conditions). Propensity score analysis using stabilized inverse probability of treatment weights used to compare 10-year mortality in the 2 treatment groups with adjustment for covariates.

Survival benefit

The researchers found that treatment was associated with a 30% reduction in death while having multiple complex conditions (MCC) was associated with a 72% increase in death in an unweighted multivariable analysis. There was also a survival benefit for treatment in weighted analysis with adjustment (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.66).

"These data provide a foundation for future work aimed at personalizing the treatment of older patients with cancer with MCC," the authors write.

The results of the current study demonstrated a clinically meaningful association between cancer treatment and survival benefit in older, medically complex patients with SBC, even after adjustment for medical complexity. These data provide a foundation for future work aimed at personalizing the treatment of older patients with cancer with MCC.