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J Urol. 2007 Sep;178(3 Pt 1):792-6; discussion 796-7. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

Imperative indications for conservative management of upper tract transitional cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Mayo Medical School and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



We report our experience with patients with imperative indications for endoscopic treatment for upper tract transitional cell carcinoma.


Between 1983 and 2004 we identified 37 patients with a solitary kidney, bilateral disease or preoperative creatinine greater than 2.0 mg/dl who underwent endoscopic treatment for localized upper tract transitional cell carcinoma. A retrospective chart review was performed.


Of the 37 patients 32 had a solitary kidney, 3 had bilateral disease and 2 had preoperative creatinine greater than 2.0 mg/dl. Median age at diagnosis was 75 years (range 56 to 88). Bladder cytology was positive or atypical in 15 of 31 patients (48%). Tumors were grade 1 to 3 in 2, 13 and 7 patients, respectively, and diagnosed visually in 15. At a median followup of 2.7 years for survivors 23 patients (62%) had a total of 56 upper tract transitional cell carcinoma recurrences. Grade and stage progression occurred in 3 and 3 patients, respectively. Ten of the 23 patients who experienced upper tract recurrence died of transitional cell carcinoma. Overall kidney preservation was achieved in 24 of the 32 patients (75%) with a solitary kidney. At last followup 24 patients had died, including 11 (29.7%) of transitional cell carcinoma, at a median of 2.9 years. Cancer specific survival at 5 years for this cohort was 49.3%.


Our results indicate that upper tract tumor recurrence occurs in a majority of patients with imperative indications for endoscopic treatment, underscoring the need for frequent surveillance. While most kidneys can be preserved, cancer specific death is common.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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