To examine national treatment trends of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) in Germany with a special focus on radical cystectomy (RC).
Population-based data were derived from the nationwide hospital billing database of the German Federal Statistical Office and institution-related information from the reimbursement.INFO tool based on hospitals’ quality reports from 2006 to 2019. Additionally, we used the German National Center for Cancer Registry data to analyze all cases of bladder cancer with stage ≥ T2 who received RC, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination from 2006 to 2017.
The annual number of RC cases in Germany increased by 28% from 5627 cases in 2006 to 7292 cases in 2019 (p = 0.001). The proportion of patients undergoing RC remained constant at about 75% in all age groups between 2006 and 2017 (p = 0.3). Relative to all performed RC, the proportion of patients > 75 years increased from 25% in 2006 to 38% in 2019 (p = 0.03). The proportion of patients receiving a combination of RC and chemotherapy increased from 9% in 2006 to 13% in 2017 (p = 0.005). In 2006, 8 of 299 urology departments (2.7%) performed more than 50 RCs per year, which increased to 17 of 360 (4.7%) in 2019. In 2019, 107 departments (29%) performed 25-49 RCs and 236 (66%) departments performed < 25 RCs.
In Germany, three out of four patients with MIBC receive RC and the proportion of patients > 75 years is increasing. The combination of surgery and chemotherapy is increasingly used. With overall increasing case numbers, there is a slight tendency towards centralization.

© 2022. The Author(s).