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Eur Urol. 1996;29(3):266-70; discussion 271.

Prognostic factors of primary transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract.

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  • 1Department of Urology, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China.



We presented and analyzed our results in order to determine the relationship between patient survival and tumor grade and/or stage. In addition, a retrospective tumor DNA ploidy study was done to evaluate its possible role in predicting future tumor recurrence in the bladder.


A total of 112 patients with upper urinary tract transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) were recorded at our hospital. Of these, 68 patients without concurrent bladder tumors (ages ranged from 36 to 80, mean 62.4 years; male:female = 1:1.2) were treated by nephroureterectomy and bladder cuff resection. They were followed up for 14-79 months (average 38.2 months). Eight (36.4%) of the 22 patients who had stage C or D tumors had received adjuvant systemic methotrexate, vinblastine, epirubicin, cisplatin chemotherapy after surgery. DNA flow cytometry using paraffin-blocked tumor specimens was performed on the tumors of 52 patients.


Their pathologic stages and grades were 11 at stage 0, 15 at stage A, 20 at stage B, 14 at stage C, 8 at stage D; 9 of grade I, 41 of grade II, and 18 of grade III. Postoperatively, 13 patients (19.1%) subsequently developed bladder tumors with a latent period ranging from 2 to 37 months (average 14.9 months). The difference of the tumor DNA ploidy distribution pattern among tumors of high versus low stages and/or grades is not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Overall, the 5-year survival rates for patients with low- and high-stage tumors were 100 and 66.7%, respectively; for patients with grade I-II and III tumors they were 93.6 and 28.3%, respectively.


Patient survival was mainly related to both tumor stages (p = 0.0037) and grades (p = 0.0001), rather than to tumor DNA ploidy. For patients with grade II upper urinary tract tumors, tumor DNA ploidy seems to provide no additional predictive value on subsequent tumor recurrence in the bladder.

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