We reviewed data collected from 371 patients with superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder to determine whether carcinoma within von Brunn's nests is a risk factor for cancer progression and an indication for radical cystectomy. Cystectomy was done in 20 of 73 patients (27%) with transitional cell carcinoma in von Brunn's nests and in 42 of 298 patients (14%) without von Brunn's nest involvement. There was no significant difference in the Kaplan-Meier crude and disease-specific survival between patients with and without transitional cell carcinoma in von Brunn's nests, irrespective of whether radical cystectomy was performed initially. Of those patients with von Brunn's nest involvement none who underwent cystectomy died of bladder carcinoma, while 3 (6%) managed conservatively died of bladder cancer. Of those patients without von Brunn's nest involvement 1 (5%) managed with cystectomy and 9 (4%) managed conservatively died of bladder carcinoma. Furthermore, only 8 patients (15%) with and 29 (11%) without transitional cell carcinoma in von Brunn's nests showed disease progression after initial conservative management. Based on this analysis, our conclusion is that transitional cell carcinoma within von Brunn's nests is not a risk factor for disease progression or an absolute indication for radical cystectomy.
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