Purpose: We studied the long-term prognosis, and evaluated the predictors of disease specific and recurrence-free survival in a large cohort of patients who had undergone radical nephroureterectomy for primary transitional cell carcinoma of the ureter.
Materials and methods: From January 1990 to December 2006, 145 patients with primary ureteral transitional cell carcinoma treated with nephroureterectomy and bladder cuff removal at our institution were included in the study. The medical records of these patients were reviewed retrospectively. The clinical and histopathological data were analyzed to evaluate the prognostic predictive factors. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed.
Results: The 5-year disease specific survival rates of stage pTa/Tis/T1, pT2, pT3 and pT4 were 94.6%, 81.8%, 47.4% and 0%, respectively. The 5-year recurrence-free survival rates according to tumor grade were 68.4% for low grade and 35.7% for high grade disease. Of the 145 patients subsequent bladder tumors developed in 38 (26.2%), local recurrence developed in 11 (7.6%) and metachronous contralateral upper urinary tract tumor developed in 3 (2.1%). Most patients had subsequent tumor recurrence within the first year after radical surgery. On univariate and multivariate analyses tumor stage, tumor grade, severity of chronic renal disease, synchronous bladder tumor and hematuria were the significant prognostic variables predicting disease specific and recurrence-free survival.
Conclusions: Advanced tumor and chronic renal disease stages were significantly associated with a worse prognosis in patients with primary ureteral transitional cell carcinoma who had undergone radical nephroureterectomy. With regard to tumor recurrence, advanced tumor stage, high tumor grade and synchronous bladder tumor were independent risk factors.