Competing mortality risk from second primary malignancy in bladder cancer patients following radical cystectomy: Implications for survivorship

Patrick J. Hensley, Zhigang Duan, Kelly Bree, Akshay Sood, Hui Zhao, Niyati Lobo, Roberto Contieri, Matthew T. Campbell, Charles C. Guo, Neema Navai, Stephen B. Williams, Colin P. Dinney, Ashish M. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BC) often occurs in patients with competing mortality risks, while also being associated with the highest rate of second primary nonurothelial cancers (SNUC) of all solid malignancies. We investigated the incidence, risk factors, and timing of SNUC as a competing mortality risk factor in patients with BC who were treated with curative intent radical cystectomy (RC). Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study assessing patients who underwent RC for cT2-4 N0M0 BC from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2018 at a single, high volume tertiary care referral center. The Fine–Gray multivariable regression model was used to evaluate predictive factors for SNUC. Cumulative incidence of mortality (CIM) was estimated with modified Kaplan–Meier analysis. Results: The median follow-up time for the 693 patients who underwent RC was 3.7 years (interquartile range [IQR] 1.9–5.9 years). SNUC developed in 85 (12.3%) patients at a median 3.0 years post-RC (IQR 1.2–5.5 years). On multivariable analysis, the only significant predictor for developing SNUC was freedom from BC recurrence or metastasis (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.12–1.76, P = 0.019). The most common SNUCs were primary lung cancer (24, 3.2% of cohort) and colon cancer (9, 1.3% of cohort). BC surveillance imaging diagnosed SNUC in 35/52 (67.3%) patients with solid-organ visceral primaries. The overall mortality rate for any SNUC was 38.8%, with the 3 most lethal cancer types being pancreatic, lung, and colon (62.5%, 54.2%, and 44.4% mortality, respectively). The incidence of SNUC uniformly increased postoperatively, with a cumulative incidence of 22.1% (95% CI, 16.8–27.9%) at 12-years post-RC. 163 patients (23.5%) died from BC, 33 patients (4.8%) died from SNUC, and 94 patients (13.6%) died from other causes. While the CIM for BC plateaued around 5-years post-RC at 24%, the incidence of other-cause mortality uniformly rose throughout the postoperative period. By post-RC year 9 there was no significant difference in CIM between BC (CIM 27.2%, 95% CI, 23.5–31.1%) and other-causes (CIM 20.0%, 95% CI, 15.8–24.6%). Conclusions: The cumulative incidence of SNUC at 12-years post-RC was 22%, with the majority identified on BC surveillance imaging. While BC mortality plateaued around 5-years post-RC, mortality related to SNUC or other causes rose steadily in the postoperative period. These data have clinical significance with regards to patient counseling, survivorship and oncologic surveillance in the highly comorbid muscle-invasive BC population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108.e11-108.e17
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Competing risk
  • Mortality
  • Muscle-invasive bladder cancer
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Secondary malignancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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