Carcinoma of the upper urinary tract: predictors of survival and competing causes of mortality.
BACKGROUND: Carcinomas of the upper urinary tract are uncommon tumors that usually occurred in elderly patients. Competing causes of mortality should be considered when treating these patients. METHODS: All patients with upper urinary tract tumors who were treated surgically at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec and affiliated hospitals from 1978 to 2001 were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical and pathologic variables were assessed from both the preoperative and postoperative periods of management, and clinical outcomes were tracked. Competing risks regression, Cox proportional hazards modeling, and multiple imputation were used to assess predictors of cancer-related and competing risks-related mortality in both preoperative and postoperative settings. RESULTS: Competing risks were responsible for 46% of deaths in this cohort of 168 patients. Preoperatively, the most important predictor of cancer-related mortality was a clinically invasive tumor (hazards ratio [HR], 3.97; P < .001), whereas increasing age (HR, 1.07; P < .001) was found to be the most important predictor of competing mortality. Postoperatively, tumor grade was the most important predictor of cancer-related mortality (HR, 3.92; P < .001) whereas constitutional symptoms (HR, 1.91; P = .015) and increasing age (HR, 1.06; P < .001) were found to be predictive of competing mortality. CONCLUSIONS: In the current study, stage and grade were found to be the 2 most important independent predictors of survival in patients with tumors of the upper urinary tract and were highly correlated. Pain or weight loss was found to be a novel predictor of survival in this cancer. Although a survival disadvantage was not noted for women, nephron-sparing surgery, ureteral tumors, or older patients with respect to cancer, competing causes of mortality were found to be responsible for greater than one-third of observed deaths and age was the best predictor of this occurrence.
Inman, BA; Tran, V-T; Fradet, Y; Lacombe, L
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