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J Urol. 1997 May;157(5):1622-4.

The role of lymphadenectomy in the treatment of transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Yamanashi Medical University, Japan.



We evaluated the efficacy of lymphadenectomy in conjunction with nephroureterectomy in patients with transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract.


Data were evaluated retrospectively in 21 consecutive men and 15 women (mean age 67 years) who underwent total nephroureterectomy with lymphadenectomy between January 1985 and December 1993.


Of the 36 patients 11 (31%) had lymph node metastases. Of 20 patients with stages pT3 to 4 or pN+ tumors 12 received cisplatin based chemotherapy (11 postoperatively and 1 preoperatively). Followup ranged from 3 to 135 months (mean 55). Among 13 patients who died by May 1996 tumor was the cause of death in 8, while 5 died of unrelated causes. The probability of a cause specific survival at 5 years was 100% in patients with stages pTa to 1, 80% with stage pT2, 59% with stage pT3 and 0% with stage pT4 cancer. The probability of a cause specific survival at 5 years in patients with nodal metastasis was 21%. No patient without nodal metastasis died of tumor related causes.


Lymphadenectomy may provide therapeutic benefit in select patients with lymph node metastasis. It also may be a useful indicator of candidates for adjuvant chemotherapy if an effective regimen is established because lymph node metastasis is common in patients with carcinoma of the upper urinary tract and is critical in establishing the prognosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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