Surgical Safety of Radical Cystectomy and Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection Following Neoadjuvant Pembrolizumab in Patients with Bladder Cancer: Prospective Assessment of Perioperative Outcomes from the PURE-01 Trial.
No data are available on the surgical safety of radical cystectomy (RC) and pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) after the administration of checkpoint inhibitors. We aimed at reporting the first prospective rigorous assessment of perioperative outcomes after RC and extended PLND following neoadjuvant pembrolizumab in a contemporary cohort of patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) enrolled in the PURE-01 trial. From February 2017 to June 2019, a total of 68 consecutive patients who received three courses of 200 mg pembrolizumab intravenously every 3 wk and were subsequently treated with either open or robot-assisted RC and PLND at a single high-volume tertiary referral center were identified. All men had prospectively collected data about intra- and postoperative outcomes. Postoperative complications were graded according to the Clavien-Dindo system. Perioperative data were prospectively and systematically collected during patient interviews at 90 d after surgery according to the European Association of Urology (EAU) Guidelines Panel recommendations on reporting and grading complications. Overall, 52 (77%) versus 16 (23%) patients underwent robot-assisted versus open RC, and 31 patients (46%) received an orthotopic neobladder. Median blood loss and length of stay were 150 ml and 12 d, respectively. Overall, 52 (77%), 47 (69%), and 22 (32%) patients experienced any-grade complications, grade ≥2 complications, and readmission at 90 d, respectively. High-grade complications (defined as Clavien-Dindo ≥3a) were observed in 23 patients (34%). The most frequent complications were fever (n = 35, 52%) and ileus (n = 21, 31%). None of the patients experienced perioperative mortality at 90 d. Our data represent the first prospective evidence supporting the surgical safety of RC and PLND in patients with N0M0 MIBC who received neoadjuvant immunotherapy with pembrolizumab. PATIENT SUMMARY: The current study represents the first prospective evidence supporting the surgical safety of radical cystectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection in patients with nonmetastatic bladder cancer who received neoadjuvant immunotherapy with pembrolizumab.