Oncological Outcomes of Distal Ureterectomy for High-Risk Urothelial Carcinoma: A Multicenter Study by The French Bladder Cancer Committee

Cancers (Basel). 2022 Nov 6;14(21):5452. doi: 10.3390/cancers14215452.


Upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) is an uncommon disease and its gold-standard treatment is radical nephroureterectomy (RNU). Distal ureterectomy (DU) might be an alternative for tumors of the distal ureter but its indications remain unclear. Here, we aimed to evaluate the oncological outcomes of DU for UTUC of the pelvic ureter. We performed a multicenter retrospective analysis of patients with UTUC who underwent DU. The primary endpoint was 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS), followed by overall survival (OS), intravesical recurrence-free (IVR) and homolateral urinary tract recurrence-free (HUR) survivals as secondary endpoints. Univariate and multivariate Cox regressions were performed to assess factors associated with outcomes. 155 patients were included, 91% of which were high-risk. 5-year CSS was 84.4%, OS was 71.9%, IVR-free survival was 43.6% and HUR-free survival was 74.4%. Multifocality, high grade and tumor size were the most significant predictors of survival endpoints. Of note, neither hydronephrosis nor pre-operative diagnostic ureteroscopy/JJ stent were associated with any of the endpoints. Perioperative morbidity was minimal. In conclusion, DU stands as a possible alternative to RNU for UTUC of the pelvic ureter. Close monitoring is mandatory due to the high risk of recurrence in the remaining urinary tract.

Keywords: cancer; cancer-specific survival; distal ureterectomy; high risk; intravesical recurrence-free survival; urothelial carcinoma.

Grant support

This research received no external funding. The publication fees were paid by the Association Francaise d’Urologie.