Trends in management of ureteral urothelial carcinoma and effects on survival: a hospital-based registry study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


High-risk ureteral tumors represent an understudied subset of upper tract urothelial carcinoma, whose surgical management can range from a radical nephroureterectomy (NU) to segmental ureterectomy (SU).


To evaluate contemporary trends in the management of high-risk ureteral tumors, the utilization of lymphadenectomy and peri-operative chemotherapy, and their impact on overall survival (OS).

Design, setting, and participants

We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients in the National Cancer Database from years 2006 to 2013 with clinically localized high-risk ureteral tumors treated with NU or SU.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

Chi-squared tests were utilized to assess differences in clinicodemographic features and peri-operative treatment delivery between SU and NU cohorts. Cochran-Armitage tests and linear regressions were performed to evaluate temporal trends in treatment utilization. Multivariable logistic regression models were employed to assess predictors of treatment delivery. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models evaluated associations with OS.


Of the 1,962 patients included, NU was more commonly performed than SU (72.4%, 1,421/1,962 vs. 27.6%, 541/1,962). Only 22.7% (446/1,962) of the population underwent lymphadenectomy, and 24.8% (271/1,092) of those with advanced pathology (≥pT2 or pN+) received adjuvant chemotherapy. Lymphadenectomy was associated with improved OS in NU patients when more than 3 nodes were removed (hazard ratio [HR] 0.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39-0.89). Receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy for advanced pathology had no impact OS in both the NU (HR 1.10, 95% CI 0.84-1.44) and SU (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.61-1.46) cohorts. Performance of SU was not associated with poorer OS on multivariable analysis (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.89-1.21, P = 0.83).


Our study suggests that SU may be an appropriate alternative to NU for the management of high-risk ureteral tumors. Further, lymphadenectomy may play an important role at the time of NU, and adjuvant chemotherapy is infrequently utilized in patients with advanced pathology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lec, PM; Venkataramana, A; Lenis, AT; Fero, KE; Sharma, V; Golla, V; Gollapudi, K; Blumberg, J; Chamie, K

Published Date

  • March 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 194.e17 - 194.e24

PubMed ID

  • 33012575

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2496

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1078-1439

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.08.033


  • eng