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J Urol. 1998 May;159(5):1624-9.

Genitourinary small cell carcinoma: determination of clinical and therapeutic factors associated with survival.

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Cross Cancer Institute and Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.



We assessed the prognostic impact of genitourinary small cell carcinoma tumor and patient characteristics, and therapy.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of 180 patients with genitourinary small cell carcinoma in which patient and tumor characteristics, therapy, followup duration and survival status had been documented. Patient age, sex, primary site, histological features, tumor size, stage, locoregional therapy, systemic chemotherapy and hormonal manipulations were analyzed for association with survival.


There were 106 cases of bladder, 60 prostatic, 8 renal and 6 ureteral small cell carcinoma. Median survival was 10.5 months overall, and 7 and 13 months for prostatic and bladder small cell carcinoma, respectively (p <0.0001 log rank analysis). In all cases metastatic disease at presentation (p <0.008, risk ratio 1.9) predicted poor survival on multivariate analysis. Radical surgery (p <0.0001, risk ratio 0.34) and cisplatin chemotherapy (p <0.0001, risk ratio 0.20) were the only factors that predicted improved survival on multivariate analysis. For prostatic small cell carcinoma primary surgical therapy (p <0.012, risk ratio 0.46) was the only parameter that predicted survival on univariate analysis. For bladder small cell carcinoma only cisplatin chemotherapy (p <0.0001, risk ratio 0.15) predicted survival on multivariate analysis.


Genitourinary small cell carcinoma has a poor prognosis, which is worse in prostatic than bladder disease. Patient and tumor characteristics were not determinants of survival when prostatic and bladder small cell carcinoma were analyzed individually. For prostatic disease only primary surgical therapy was associated with prolonged survival, while for bladder disease cisplatin chemotherapy was associated with a favorable prognosis. We recommend considering primary surgical therapy for prostatic and cisplatin based chemotherapy for bladder small cell carcinoma.

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