Histopathologic tumor regression grades (TRGs) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy predict survival in different cancers. In bladder cancer, corresponding studies have not been conducted. Fifty-six patients with advanced invasive urothelial bladder cancer received neoadjuvant chemotherapy before cystectomy and lymphadenectomy. TRGs were defined as follows: TRG1: complete tumor regression; TRG2: >50% tumor regression; TRG3: 50% or less tumor regression. Separate TRGs were assigned for primary tumors and corresponding lymph nodes. The prognostic impact of these 2 TRGs, the highest (dominant) TRG per patient, and competing tumor features reflecting tumor regression (ypT/ypN stage, maximum diameter of the residual tumor) were determined. Tumor characteristics in initial transurethral resection of the bladder specimens were tested for response prediction. The frequency of TRGs 1, 2, and 3 in the primary tumors were n=16, n=19, and n=21; corresponding data from the lymph nodes were n=31, n=9, and n=16. Interobserver agreement in determination of the TRG was strong (κ=0.8). Univariately, all evaluated parameters were significantly (P ≤ 0.001) related to overall survival; however, the segregation of the Kaplan-Meier curves was best for the dominant TRG. In multivariate analysis, only dominant TRG predicted overall survival independently (P=0.035). In transurethral resection specimens of the chemotherapy-naive bladder cancer, the only tumor feature with significant (P<0.03) predictive value for therapy response was a high proliferation rate. In conclusion, among all parameters reflecting tumor regression, the dominant TRG was the only independent risk factor. A favorable chemotherapy response is associated with a high proliferation rate in the initial chemotherapy-naive bladder cancer. This feature might help personalize neoadjuvant chemotherapy.