Group for Research in Decision Analysis

Improving the Treatment of Bladder Cancer - The Role of the Statistician : A Case Study

Susan Groshen

Bladder cancers represent a broad spectrum of neoplasms, and in many instances, the role for and the advantages of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy remain poorly understood. At the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC/NCCC), we have a tradition of recommending radical cystectomy (i.e. surgical removal of the bladder) followed by construction of a neo-bladder. To this, we usually recommend three to four courses of chemotherapy for patients whose tumors are locally advanced. I will summarize some of the studies completed here at the USC/NCCC that formed the basis/background for these treatment recommendations and I will also describe some of our ongoing studies. In particular, I will discuss how these studies, with the formal and informal incorporation of statistics, are used in making decisions regarding treatment policies.