Multifocality rather than tumor location is a prognostic factor in upper tract urothelial carcinoma
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OBJECTIVES: Whether a patient has urothelial carcinoma located within the renal pelvis or ureter remains a controversial prognostic indicator in clinical urology. We wished to evaluate whether tumor location is associated with recurrence in patients undergoing nephroureterectomy for upper tract urothelial cancer in a large volume patient cohort. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We created a retrospective database of patients from 7 academic centers throughout Canada who underwent nephroureterectomy for upper tract urothelial carcinoma. Patient demographics as well as pathologic and surgical factors were analyzed to evaluate any statistical association between tumor location and overall survival, disease-free survival, and disease-specific survival. RESULTS: A total of 1,029 patients had data available for analysis with a mean follow up of 3.2 years. Kaplan Meier 5-year disease-free survivals (DFS) were 46%, 37%, and 19% for renal pelvis tumors, ureteric tumors, and multifocal tumors respectively. There was no association between the location of the tumor and the DFS, however, disease involving both the ureter and renal pelvis was associated with lower DFS and overall survival (OS) (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Tumor location does not appear to have any influence on the risk of recurrence of disease following nephroureterectomy in this large patient cohort. However, multifocal tumors involving both the ureter and renal pelvis had a significantly worse prognosis and should be considered for more aggressive management.
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