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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2020 February;72(1):1-12

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-2249.19.03498-2


language: English

Epidemiology and unmet needs of bladder cancer in Italy: a critical review

Cosimo DE NUNZIO 1, 2 , Patrizia GIANNATEMPO 3, Rodolfo PASSALACQUA 4, Edoardo FIORINI 5, Irene LUCCARINI 6, Alessia BRIGIDO 6

1 Department of Urology, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy; 2 Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 3 Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy; 4 Division of Oncology, Department of Oncology, ASST di Cremona, Hospital of Cremona, Cremona, Italy; 5 PaLiNUro Association, Milan, Italy; 6 Janssen Cilag SpA, Cologno Monzese, Milan, Italy

Bladder cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in high-income countries. Information on bladder cancer in Italy is scattered across scientific literature and institutional and educational resources and no attempt has been made yet to organize and summarize this information across various sources of available data. We, therefore, present herein a critical literature review of recent epidemiological and healthcare data, including patients’ unmet needs. We undertook a critical review of the scientific and grey literature by exploring several different databases and search browsers. Available official statistics indicate a high burden of bladder cancer in Italy, where this neoplasm has one of the highest incidences worldwide and, in consideration of its relatively high survival, it ranks 4th in cancer prevalence. The limited therapeutic options for muscle-invasive and advanced/metastatic urothelial cancer are one of the major unmet needs for patients with this neoplasm, in Italy and worldwide. Advances in cancer immunotherapy and in understanding molecular biology of bladder cancer are, however, rapidly altering the therapeutic landscape for targeted subgroups of patients with advanced/metastatic disease. Other unmet needs include the low quality of life after radical cystectomy, the lack of widespread clinical pathway schemes to improve and standardize the quality of care and low Italian patients empowerment. Bladder cancer represents a health burden in Italy, with high incidence and prevalence rates, and important unmet needs for patients, including the limited therapeutic options for advanced/metastatic cancers, the low quality of life after radical cystectomy, the lack of widespread clinical pathway schemes, and the low patients empowerment.

KEY WORDS: Urinary bladder neoplasms; Biostatistics; Incidence; Mortality; Prevalence; Health services needs and demand

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