Purpose We sought to investigate the prevalence and variables associated with early oncologic failure. Materials and Methods We retrospectively reviewed the IRCC (International Radical Cystectomy Consortium) database of patients who underwent robot-assisted radical cystectomy since 2003. The final cohort comprised a total of 1,894 patients from 23 institutions in 11 countries. Early oncologic failure was defined as any disease relapse within 3 months of robot-assisted radical cystectomy. All institutions were surveyed for the pneumoperitoneum pressure used, breach of oncologic surgical principles, and techniques of specimen and lymph node removal. A multivariate model was fit to evaluate predictors of early oncologic failure. The Kaplan-Meier method was applied to depict disease specific and overall survival, and Cox proportional regression analysis was used to evaluate predictors of disease specific and overall survival. Results A total of 305 patients (22%) experienced disease relapse, which was distant in 220 (16%), local recurrence in 154 (11%), peritoneal carcinomatosis in 17 (1%) and port site recurrence in 5 (0.4%). Early oncologic failure developed in 71 patients (5%) at a total of 10 institutions. The incidence of early oncologic failure decreased from 10% in 2006 to 6% in 2015. On multivariate analysis the presence of any complication (OR 2.87, 95% CI 1.38–5.96, p = 0.004), pT3 or greater disease (OR 3.73, 95% CI 2.00–6.97, p <0.001) and nodal involvement (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.21–3.80, p = 0.008) was a significant predictor of early oncologic failure. Patients with early oncologic failure demonstrated worse disease specific and overall survival (23% and 13%, respectively) at 1 and 3 years compared to patients who experienced later or no recurrences (log rank p <0.001). Conclusions The incidence of early oncologic failure following robot-assisted radical cystectomy has decreased with time. Disease related rather than technical related factors have a major role in early oncologic failure after robot-assisted radical cystectomy.
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