The following article features coverage from the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Researchers examined whether links exist between malnutrition or sarcopenia and impairments or postoperative complications for patients with bladder cancer treated with radical cystectomy. The study findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

This prospective cohort study evaluated geriatric assessments (GAs) of patients with bladder cancer performed prior to radical cystectomy, in addition to postoperative outcomes and other metrics. A dietician assessed patients for malnutrition, and sarcopenia was determined using computed tomography of the L3 vertebra.

For this study, a total of 73 patients were examined, of whom 59 participated in both the GA and the nutrition assessment, and 51 participated in both the GA and sarcopenia assessment. Malnutrition showed a prevalence of 7%, whereas sarcopenia was relatively common, with a prevalence of 63%.

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Compared with patients who had neither malnutrition nor sarcopenia, higher proportions of patients with malnutrition or sarcopenia showed 1 or more impairments on GA, but not to a statistically significant degree. Patients with malnutrition or sarcopenia had higher levels of frailty, and patients with malnutrition showed significantly worse quality-of-life scores regarding physical well-being than did patients without malnutrition.

Overall rates of any postoperative complication did not seem to differ based on malnutrition or sarcopenia status. However, patients with sarcopenia showed a median length of stay of 5 days, compared with 4 days for those without sarcopenia (P =.005). Also, patients with malnutrition had grade 3 or higher complications at a rate of 100%, compared with 27% among those who did not have malnutrition (P =.009).

The researchers intend to evaluate more data involving sarcopenia, including in patients with sarcopenic obesity. They also noted that an important research question is whether functional status and postoperative outcomes can be improved through modification of malnutrition or sarcopenia.

Disclosures: Some authors declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.

Read more of our coverage of the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium by visiting the conference page.


Gurjar MS, Osterman CK, Nyrop KA, et al. The association of malnutrition and sarcopenia with geriatric assessment impairment and outcomes in patients with bladder cancer undergoing cystectomy. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 6):abstr 423. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.6_suppl.423