Urol Oncol. 2022 Jan 27:S1078-1439(22)00001-1. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2022.01.001. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Radical cystectomy (RC) represents the gold standard treatment for high-risk bladder cancer. Despite evidence suggesting that surgical experience correlates with perioperative and oncologic outcomes of robot-assisted RC (RARC), validated tools to assess its quality objectively are lacking. We aimed to evaluate the impact of RC-Pentafecta (absence of early major complications, absence of urinary diversion related sequelae at ≤12 months, absence of soft tissue surgical margins, ≥16 lymph nodes at final pathology and absence of clinical recurrence at ≤12 months) on oncological outcomes and the role of surgical experience on its achievement.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 366 patients undergoing RARC with intracorporeal urinary diversion in a single tertiary centre with a minimum of 1 year follow-up. Surgeries were performed using the DaVinci Xi system according to a previously described technique. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to investigate 5-years overall survival and cancer specific mortality-free survival (CSS) according to RC-Pentafecta achievement. Multivariable Cox’s regressions were performed to evaluate the impact of RC-Pentafecta on overall mortality. Multivariable logistic regressions were performed to explore the effect of surgical experience on RC-pentafecta achievement. Locally weighted scatterplot smoother function was used to graphically explore this relationship.
RESULTS: Patients achieving RC-Pentafecta showed higher 5-year overall survival (71.8% vs. 59.6%, P < 0.001) and CSS (84% vs. 71%, P < 0.001) when compared with patients not achieving it. At multivariable Cox’s regression, RC-Pentafecta achievement (HR 0.57, P = 0.03), positive surgical margins (HR 2.48, P = 0.002), pN+ (HR 2.23, P = 0.002), pT≥3 (HR 1.71, P = 0.04) and current smoking status (HR 2.4, P = 0.006) were significant predictors of overall mortality. At multivariable logistic regression surgical experience (OR 1.2, P < 0.001), age (OR 0.93, P = 0.04), previous prostate surgery (OR 0.7, P = 0.02) and pT≥3 (OR 0.8, P = 0.03) were independent predictors of RC-Pentafecta achievement. A linear relationship between surgical experience and RC-Pentafecta achievement, without reaching a plateau, was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: RC-Pentafecta is a valuable tool to assess surgical quality of RARC and the experience of the center where the surgery is performed and may be used to identify “referral” centers for treatment of high-risk bladder cancer.