Introduction: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, providers and patients must engage in shared decision making to ensure that the benefit of early intervention for muscle-invasive bladder cancer exceeds the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the clinical setting. It is unknown whether treatment delays for patients eligible for curative chemoradiation (CRT) compromise long-term outcomes. Patients and Methods: We used the National Cancer Data Base to investigate whether there is an association between a ≥ 90-day delay from transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) in initiating CRT and overall survival. We included patients with cT2-4N0M0 muscle-invasive bladder cancer from 2004 to 2015 who underwent TURBT and curative-intent concurrent CRT. Patients were grouped on the basis of timing of CRT: ≤ 89 days after TURBT (earlier) vs. ≥ 90 and < 180 days after TURBT (delayed). Results: A total of 1387 (87.5%) received earlier CRT (median, 45 days after TURBT; interquartile range, 34-59 days), and 197 (12.5%) received delayed CRT (median, 111 days after TURBT; interquartile range, 98-130 days). Median overall survival was 29.0 months (95% CI, 26.0-32.0) versus 27.0 months (95% CI, 19.75-34.24) for earlier and delayed CRT (P = .94). On multivariable analysis, delayed CRT was not associated with an overall survival difference (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.87-1.27; P = .60). Conclusion: Although these results are limited and require validation, short, strategic treatment delays during a pandemic can be considered on the basis of clinician judgment. Limited data are available on the effect of treatment delays for initiating chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. We used the National Cancer Database and found that 1387 patients had started CRT < 90 days after transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) compared with 197 with delayed CRT (≥ 90 days after TURBT). On multivariable analysis, delayed CRT was not associated with differences in overall survival. These results suggest that short, strategic treatment delays during a pandemic can be considered based on clinician judgment.
- COVID-19 bladder cancer
- ChemoRT MIBC
- Delays in chemoRT MIBC
- Pandemic treatment delays MIBC