Objectives: To analyse the clinicopathological features of bladder cancer associated with upper urinary tract cancer (UUTC).
Patients and methods: Among 106 patients with primary UUTC (mean age 65 years, range 45-82) who underwent surgical treatment, 44 also had bladder cancer. The patients were divided into three groups according to the timing of the appearance of bladder cancer. In group 1, 10 patients had UUTC preceding bladder cancer, group 2 comprised 14 patients with concurrent bladder cancer and group 3, 20 with subsequent bladder cancer; their clinicopathological data were analysed.
Results: Among several clinicopathological factors examined, only the number of UUT tumours was significantly correlated with the incidence of associated bladder cancer (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference between survival rates of patients with UUTC with and without associated bladder cancer. The incidence of high-stage or high-grade tumours in both the UUT and bladder in group 2 was higher than that in groups 1 and 3 (P < 0.05), and the survival rate in group 2 was significantly lower than in those in groups 1 and 3 (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the survival rate of patients in group 2 was significantly lower than that of all other patients (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that bladder cancer associated with UUTC has a different biological character depending on the timing of tumour appearance, and that patients with UUTC and concurrent bladder cancer should undergo careful follow-up and aggressive adjuvant therapy.