Surveillance of the Genetic Signature in Circulating Tumor DNA for Guiding Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Urothelial Carcinoma: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial


Yung NA

Status and phase

Phase 2


Muscle-Invasive Bladder Carcinoma
Muscle Invasive Bladder Urothelial Carcinoma


Drug: gemcitabine
Drug: Cisplatin

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Urothelial carcinomas are one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide. Postoperative patients carry a poor prognosis with an estimated five-year disease-specific survival rate of 50%. To improve overall survival and reduce the recurrent risk, chemotherapy is recommended as a standard of care. However, currently in Hong Kong, neoadjuvant (preoperational) chemotherapy and adjuvant (postoperative) chemotherapy are not commonly or regularly provided due to the concern of the potential harm from both physicians and patients. Recently, genetic signature from circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is emerging as a pivotal biomarker for detecting caner in early stage and molecular residual disease (MRD). With strengths of non-invasive and superior sensitivity, ctDNA is hopefully to serve as a cancer-agnostic surrogate analyte for risk stratification of tumor recurrence, thereby guiding individually tailored treatment. Therefore, this study is proposed to exploratively assess the benefit of ctDNA-guided approach for postoperative adjuvant therapy.


20 estimated patients




18 to 70 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  1. aged 18-70 years old;

  2. a score of ≤1 for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status;

  3. receiving radical cystectomy (with lymph node dissection) or nephroureterectomy;

  4. histologically confirmed (surgical specimen) muscle invasive urothelial carcinoma, and the major histological type should be transitional cell carcinoma;

  5. Classification of tumour, node and metastasis (TNM): pT2-4a N0-2M0;

  6. absence of microscopic (i.e., positive margin) or gross residual of the tumor (R0 resection) and absence of metastasis, confirmed by a negative CT or MRI scan of pelvis, abdomen and chest within 4 weeks prior to enrolment;

  7. adequate hematologic and end-organ function, defined by the following laboratory results obtained within 28 days prior to the first study treatment:

    • ANC≥1500 cells/μL (without granulocyte colony-stimulating factor support within 2 weeks prior to Cycle 1, Day 1)
    • WBC counts > 2500 cells/μL
    • Lymphocyte count ≥ 300 cells/μL
    • Platelet count ≥ 100,000 cells/μL (without transfusion within 2 weeks prior to Cycle 1, Day 1)
    • Hemoglobin ≥ 9.0 g/dL
    • AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase ≤ 2.5 × the upper limit of normal (ULN),
    • PTT ≤ 1.5 × ULN
    • PT ≤ 1.5 × ULN or INR < 1.7
    • Calculated creatinine clearance ≥ 30 mL/min (Cockcroft-Gault formula)
  8. able to understand and provide written informed consent, and agree to receive the treatment arrangement and study procedures stated in the informed consent

Exclusion criteria

  1. receiving any approved anti-cancer treatment within 3 weeks prior to study enrolment;
  2. participation in another clinical trial with therapeutic intent within 28 days prior to enrolment;
  3. suffering from malignancies other than urothelial carcinoma within 5 years prior to study enrolment;
  4. conditions that contraindicate chemotherapy, such as renal impairment with creatinine clearance rate (CCr) <50 mL/min, hearing impairment, and inadequate marrow function;
  5. anaphylactic or hypersensitivity reactions or other contraindication to cisplatin and gemcitabine;
  6. active or uncontrolled infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or tuberculosis;
  7. pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

20 participants in 2 patient groups

Gemcitabine plus cisplatin chemotherapy arm (GC arm)
Experimental group
Patients in this group will receive adjuvant chemotherapy of gemcitabine and cisplatin, prior to radiological progression
Drug: Cisplatin
Drug: gemcitabine
Standard management arm (SM arm)
Other group
Patients in this group will receive chemotherapy of gemcitabine and cisplatin only after radiological progression is observed
Drug: Cisplatin
Drug: gemcitabine

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Research Assistant

Data sourced from

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