Background: The relationship between guideline adherence for radical cystectomy of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer and patient prognoses currently remains unclear. We investigated whether guideline adherence at the time of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer affects the oncological outcomes of bladder cancer patients who underwent radical cystectomy. Methods: Among 267 cTa-4N0-2M0 bladder cancer patients, 70 who underwent radical cystectomy under the non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer or muscle-invasive bladder cancer status that progressed from non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer were identified. Patients who followed the guidelines from initial transurethral resection of bladder tumors to radical cystectomy were defined as the guideline adherent group (n = 52), while those who did not were the guideline non-adherent group (n = 18). Results: In the guideline non-adherent group, 8 (44.4%) out of 18 were diagnosed with highest risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer for Bacillus Calmette Guérin-naïve patients and 7 (38.9%) had a Bacillus Calmette Guérin unresponsive tumor status. Five-year recurrence-free survival and cancer-specific survival rates for the guideline non-adherent group vs guideline adherent group were 38.9% vs 69.8% (P = 0.018) and 52.7% vs 80.1% (P = 0.006), respectively. A multivariate analysis identified guideline non-adherence as one of independent indicators for disease recurrence (hazard ratio = 2.81, P = 0.008) and cancer-specific death (hazard ratio = 4.04, P = 0.003). In a subgroup analysis of 49 patients with cT1 or less non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer at the time of radical cystectomy, guideline non-adherence remained an independent prognostic factor for cancer-specific survival (hazard ratio = 3.46, P = 0.027). Conclusions: Guideline adherence during the time course of the non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer stage may result in a favorable prognosis of patients who receive radical cystectomy. Even under non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer status, radical cystectomy needs to be performed with adequate timing under guideline recommendations.
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