Clear Cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder, A case report: Surgical and oncological management

Bladder Cancer

Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2020 Oct 2;92(3). doi: 10.4081/aiua.2020.3.218.


INTRODUCTION: Bladder cancer is a condition characterized by a broad spectrum of histological variants and clinical courses. The morphological description of histological variants is becoming increasingly important. The 75% of cases of these cancers are classified as pure urothelial carcinoma, while the remaining 25% is represented by other histological variants. The clear cell carcinoma is part of urothelial group and is a very rare entity. Oncological outcomes of this variant are still uncertain, but seems to be worst than for patiens with pure urothelial carcinoma. Moreover it seems to metastasize more easily to the lymph nodes.

CASE REPORT: We present a case of a Caucasian 73 year old woman who, after an episode of gross hematuria, underwent an ultrasound of the urinary system, a cystoscopy and a total body computed tomography (CT) which confirmed the presence of a bladder neoformation. A transurethral resection of the bladder (TURB) was performed: the result of the histological examination was "poorly differentiated clear cell carcinoma". Given the rarity of histological characterization, we required a PET CT scan for more accurate staging, at which a suspected right pelvic lymph node was detected. We proposed a radical cystectomy with hysteroannessiectomy and extended lymphadenectomy. During the pre-hospitalization process, the patient developed anuria, with acute renal failure and bilateral hydronephrosis, which required the placement of bilateral nephrostomies; we performed the planned surgical procedure and the histological exam confirmed: high grade urothelial carcinoma with a high percentage (more than 70%) of clear cell carcinoma, with a strong local aggression and lymphnode metastates. We referred the patient to the oncologist who suggested a treatment plan within an immunotherapy based clinical trial and cisplatin.

CONCLUSIONS: The morphological description of histological variants in bladder cancer is gaining increasing importance, especially for infiltrating and aggressive forms. The clear cell carcinoma is a very rare entity part of the urothelial group; they would seem more aggressive forms with an early lymph node involvement. This evidence is confirmed by the clinical case described, in which we have seen a large local aggression with an involvement of the lymph nodes of the right side of the pelvis

of the pre-sacral ones. In these cases, the multimodal approach is crucial.