Can Urol Assoc J. 2020 Oct 27. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.6698. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Historically, staging and treatment for upper tract urothelial carcinoma were extrapolated from bladder urothelial carcinoma literature. However, embryological, genetic, and anatomical differences exist between them. We sought to explore the relationship between location of urothelial cancer and overall survival (OS).
METHODS: Data was culled from the National Cancer Database from 2004-2015. Patients with pT2-pT4 treated with definitive surgery were included; those with metastatic disease or who received neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment were excluded. Patients were stratified by tumor location and pathological stage. The primary outcome was OS. Secondary outcomes were predictors of mortality in each pT stage stratum.
RESULTS: A total of 11 330 patients with bladder, 954 patients with ureteral, and 1943 patients with renal pelvis urothelial carcinoma were analyzed. Mean followup was 43.3, 39.4, and 41.4 months for bladder, ureteral, and renal pelvis, respectively. On univariable analysis, ureteral pT2 was associated with worse OS compared to both bladder (61.3 vs. 80.4 months, p=0.007) and renal pelvis (61.3 vs. 80.5 months, p=0.014). Renal pelvis pT3 was associated with improved OS compared to both bladder (42.5 vs. 28.6 months, p=0.003) and ureteral (42.5 vs. 25.7 months, p<0.001). Renal pelvis pT4 had decreased survival compared to bladder (11.4 vs. 17.7 months, p<0.001). On multivariable Cox regression, only renal pelvis pT3 was associated with a 20% decreased risk of mortality compared to bladder pT3 (hazard ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.72-0.88, p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Renal pelvis pT3 is associated with lower mortality. Mutational and embryological differences may play a role in this disparity.