Very elderly (>80 years), frail patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer and comorbidities: is curative irradiation feasible?



To evaluate clinical results in elderly and frail patients with bladder cancer treated with curative conformal irradiation alone.


The records of ambulatory frail elderly patients, age >80 years, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) >5, with invasive bladder cancer, were retrospectively analyzed. The patients were irradiated with curative intent. Acute and late toxicities were evaluated.


A total of 27 ambulatory patients were treated. Median age was 84.5 years and a median CCI of 6.5 was recorded. Median delivered radiation dose was 64 Gy. All patients completed the planned treatment. Grade 1-2 gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) toxicities were observed in 55.5% of patients (15/27). At the last follow-up, no late G3+ toxicities have been observed, with G1-2 toxicities reported in 11.1% of patients (3/27). Higher values of CCI were associated with higher acute GU/GI toxicities; there was a correlation between CCI and acute GU toxicity (r = 0.43, p = 0.027). The mean survival time was 23.5 months (95% confidence interval 20.9-26.1) and no median was reached. Locoregional disease-free events and metastasis-free survival showed a 2-year actuarial rate of 90% and 87%, respectively, with an actuarial 2-year overall survival of 84.5%.


Our results demonstrate safety and feasibility of curative radiation therapy in very elderly and frail patients with bladder cancer using 3D conformal radiation therapy.

Tumori 2015; 101(6): 609 - 613




Anna Santacaterina, Angelo Platania, Carmela Palazzolo, Corrado Spatola, Grazia Acquaviva, Manuela Crispi, Giuseppe Privitera, Nicola Settineri, Stefano Pergolizzi

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Azienda OORR, Papardo-Piemonte Messina, Messina - Italy
  • AOU “Vittorio Emanuele”, PO “Rodolico” Catania, Catania - Italy
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences and Morphologic and Functional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina - Italy

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