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Randomized phase III trial of dose-dense methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (dd-MVAC) or gemcitabine and cisplatin (GC) as perioperative chemotherapy for muscle invasive urothelial bladder cancer (MIUBC): Preliminary results of the GETUG/AFU V05 VESPER trial on toxicity and pathological responses

  • Stephane Culine,
  • Gwenaelle Gravis,
  • Aude Flechon,
  • Michel Soulie,
  • Laurent Guy,
  • Brigitte Laguerre,
  • Nicolas Mottet,
  • Florence Joly,
  • Yves Allory,
  • Valentin Harter,
  • Christian Pfister

Research Funding
French Ministry of Health.

The optimal perioperative chemotherapy regimen for patients (pts) with MIUBC is not defined.

Between February 2013 and February 2018, 494 pts were randomized in 28 French centres and received either 4 cycles of GC every 3 weeks or 6 cycles of dd-MVAC every 2 weeks before surgery (neoadjuvant group) or after surgery (adjuvant group). The primary endpoint was the progression-free survival at 3 years. Secondary endpoints included toxicity, pathological responses and overall survival.

In the neoadjuvant group, 218 pts received dd-MVAC and 219 pts GC. The median number of cycles was 6 (0-6) and 4 (1-4), respectively. 60% of pts received 6 cycles in the dd-MVAC arm, 84% received 4 cycles in the GC arm. 199 pts (91%) and 198 (90%) pts underwent surgery, respectively. Complete pathologic responses (ypT0pN0) were observed in 84 (42%) and 71 (36%) pts, respectively (p=0.02). An organ-confined status (<ypT3pN0) was obtained in 154 (77%) and 124 (63%) pts, respectively (p=0.002). In the adjuvant group (57 pts), the median number of cycles was 5 (1-6) and 4 (1-4), respectively. 40% of pts received 6 cycles in the dd-MVAC arm, 60% received 4 cycles in the GC arm. Most of CTCAE grade ≥ 3 toxicities concerned hematological toxicities. At least one of these where reported for 125 (50%) pts in the dd-MVAC group and 134 (54%) pts in the GC group (p=NS). Gastrointestinal (GI) grade ≥ 3 disorders were more frequently observed in the dd-MVAC arm (p<0.0001) as well as grade ≥ 3 asthenia (p<0.00001). Four deaths (3 in the dd-MVAC) occurred during chemotherapy.

Complete pathological responses and organ-confined status were more frequently observed in the dd-MVAC arm. Toxicity was manageable with more severe asthenia and GI side effects in the dd-MVAC arm. Clinical trial information: 2012-000563-25.