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Indian J Urol. 2008 Apr;24(2):159-63.

Conservative management of upper tract transitional cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

Our aim was to review the current literature describing the endoscopic management of upper tract transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Review of published, peer-reviewed articles relating the primary ureteroscopic or percutaneous management of upper tract TCC was performed using the MEDLINE database.

RESULTS:

Historically, the gold-standard management for upper tract TCC consists of nephroureterectomy with excision of a bladder cuff. The employment of endoscopic management with these neoplasms was initially instituted in individuals with imperative indications, including bilateral disease, solitary kidney, and/or renal insufficiency. For individuals treated with ureteroscopy, recurrence rates range from 30 to 71% and cancer-specific survival rates from 50 to 93%. Results are dependent primarily on tumor grade and stage. In individuals with low-stage, low-grade tumors treated percutaneously, recurrence rates, and cancer-specific survival rates are 18-33% and 94-100%, respectively. Adjuvant therapy has been employed with thiotepa, mitomycin, and BCG, but none have been able to demonstrate a statistically significant difference in recurrence or cancer-specific survival rates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Endoscopic management is a safe and effective treatment alternative to nephroureterectomy in the management of upper tract TCC. Survival outcomes are comparable, but renal preservation therapy offers the advantage of reduced morbidity, complications, and the potential for better quality of life. Recurrence and disease progression are not uncommon and underscore the need for strict tumor surveillance.

KEYWORDS:

Carcinoma; endoscopy; transitional cell; ureteral neoplasms; ureteroscopy

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