Objectives: To compare the outcomes of patients who were upstaged to pT2 at the time of radical cystectomy (RC) to those who were correctly staged as T2 before RC. Methods: The clinical and pathologic data were reviewed of 496 patients who underwent RC from 1994 to 2008. Patients who underwent RC for high-grade T1 (HGT1) or carcinoma in situ (CIS) (184) were compared with those with known muscle-invasive cancer (312) before RC. Patients were substratified based on preoperative intravesical therapy status. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) for patients who were upstaged to muscle-invasive disease was compared with patients who were correctly staged T2 preoperatively. Results: Patients who were upstaged to pT2 disease had significantly worse 3- and 5-year RFS compared with those who where accurately staged (cT2 = pT2) (64% and 61% vs 83% and 74%, respectively; P = .04). Upstaging to pT2 in patients with a history of bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment resulted in worse 3- and 5-year RFS rates compared with those accurately staged (69% and 57% vs 100% and 86%, respectively; P = .03). Conclusions: Upstaging to pT2 among patients with HGT1 or CIS is associated with worse RFS compared with patients with known muscle invasion before RC (HGT1/CIS = pT2 vs cT2 = pT2). This finding was most significant among patients with a history of bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment. Factors such as understaging of disease or treatment delay may contribute to worse outcomes among this subset of patients and should be considered when discussing treatment options.
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