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Dr. Bochner on what post-radical cystectomy QoL data demonstrate


“[The study] should provide better insight for clinicians when they're making decisions about treatments and whether surgery is reasonable or not,” says Bernard H. Bochner, MD, FACS.

In this video, Bernard H. Bochner, MD, FACS, shares the take-home message from the European Urology study, “Health-related Quality of Life for Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy: Results of a Large Prospective Cohort,” for which he served as senior author. Bochner is the Sir Murray F. Brennan Chair in Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York.


I think the take-home message from this is that the perception that patients undergoing radical cystectomy take a huge hit to their quality of life and that it does not recover following surgery is just not what we're seeing with modern surgical techniques and support. Our findings demonstrated that although there is unquestionably a recovery that occurs following this type of surgery, patients in general do not see a major hit to their overall quality of life, whether it's their physical functioning or other psychosocial measures, and that patients in general, with good support, are going to recover and get back to their baseline levels of activity, social functioning, and emotional functioning. It should provide better insight for clinicians when they're making decisions about treatments and whether surgery is reasonable or not. It should also be useful for patients to get a view as to what's ahead. People should understand that there is a light at the end of the tunnel of their recovery, and that the expectation should be that they're going to get back to their family and the things that they want to do. The general population that undergoes radical cystectomy tends to be heavily weighted toward men. But we've been looking specifically at the outcome of women who undergo radical cystectomy as well. There are some papers that are now being prepared and submitted for publication that will be more specific for women, who have not necessarily had as much attention with respect to quality of life following this surgery. And fortunately, because of the large number of patients that were included in this study, there was a substantial number of women that underwent this procedure as well. So we're generating outcomes that are specific for women, which I think will be more useful than looking at perhaps an overall group where maybe women only represent 1/5 of the patients. That's important. We're looking at the effects of various surgical technologies; for instance, open surgery vs robotic technology. And that comparison with respect to quality of life should be coming out in press in the Journal of Urology in March 2023. So we're looking at various subsets as well and trying to really drill down on specific groups to try to give people a better understanding as to what the expected outcomes are following this type of surgery.

This transcription was edited for clarity.

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