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Thomas Flaig, MD


Can Tumor Morphology Predict Depth of Invasion in Bladder Cancer?

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2022

For patients with bladder cancer, the depth of invasion was determined by coral-like and crumb-like tumor morphology, according to a study published in BMC Urology. In addition, the overall survival and progression-free survival were significantly associated with the outer invasive depth of bladder cancer, explained Qilin Wang, PhD, of Yunnan Cancer Hospital, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Yunnan, China, and colleagues.

“MRI and micro-ultrasound technology will combine to establish a predictive model for preoperative local staging of bladder cancer, hoping to improve the accuracy of judging the status and depth of invasion, which will help in the selection of surgical procedures and the prognosis of patients,” commented the study authors.

From 2014 to 2021, a total of 386 patients with bladder urothelial carcinoma were recruited for the study from the Yunnan Cancer Hospital. Patients were stratified into either coral-like or crumb-like groups based on the inner circle radius and outer branch length of their tumors. Patients with distant metastasis, blurred vision during cystoscopy, and tumors smaller than 1 cm were excluded from the study.

The study findings revealed a moderate correlation between invasion depth and bladder tumor morphology. There was also a positive association between bladder tumor morphology and invasion status (hazard ratio = 8.27). Furthermore, tumor morphology was identified as an independent factor associated with progression-free survival. However, there was no association with overall survival. Coral-like morphology was associated with improved progression-free survival (hazard ratio = 0.63). Moreover, the outer invasion depth was found to be an independent factor associated with both inferior progression-free survival and overall survival.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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