Researchers performed a comparative study reviewing different causes of neurogenic bladder disorders (NBDs) in patients with bladder cancer (BC) based on patient- and tumor-related parameters as well as treatment outcomes. Their report, published in the World Journal of Urology, established that patients with NBDs have a poor prognosis regardless of their etiology or level of nervous system (NS) lesion.
The study’s lead author Julia Mühlbauer further reported that “patients with spinal cord lesions, including congenital NBDs, appear to develop BC at a young age, but compared to other etiologies, latency from NBD to BC is longer.”
The study included 23 patients with BC and NBDs out of a pool of 98 patients with bladder tumors and neurogenic disease. Different etiologies were merged into three groups based on the level of the NS lesion: central (n = 6), spinal cord (n = 10), or peripheral (n = 7).
The investigators observed that patients with lesions at the spinal cord level were diagnosed with BC at a younger age when compared to patients with central or peripheral NS lesions (54 vs. 68 vs. 78; p = 0.0219). However, as they reported, the time from latency to malignant transformation was more than twice as long for this group (33 vs. 15 years; p = 0.0108). Most participants’ tumors were muscle-invasive or locally advanced BCs (62%) and presented lymph node metastases (55%), which resulted in a poor mean overall survival of 30.9 ± 3.6 months, according to the authors. Lastly, the study could find no significant differences in histopathologies, tumor stages, and oncologic outcomes between the groups.
Although the study did not uncover major results that suggested dramatic changes are needed in the treatment and management of patients with NBDs and BC, the authors highlighted their findings on the unique qualities of patients with spinal cord level NBDs and BC.