Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Risk of cancer-specific mortality following recurrence after radical nephroureterectomy.

PURPOSE: To describe the natural history and identify predictors of cancer-specific survival in patients who experience disease recurrence after radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC).

METHODS: Of 2,494 UTUC patients treated with RNU without neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 597 patients experienced disease recurrence. A total of 148 patients (25 %) received adjuvant chemotherapy before disease recurrence. Multivariable Cox regression model addressed time to cancer-specific mortality after disease recurrence.

RESULTS: The median time from RNU to disease recurrence was 12 months (interquartile range 5-22). A total of 491 (82 %) of 597 patients died from UTUC, and 8 patients (1.3 %) died from other causes. The median time from disease recurrence to death of UTUC was 10 months. Actuarial cancer-specific survival estimate at 12 months after disease recurrence was 35 %. On multivariable analysis that adjusted for the effects of standard clinicopathologic characteristics, higher tumor stages [hazard ratio (HR) pT3 vs. pT0-T1: 1.66, p = 0.001; HR pT4 vs. pT0-T1: 1.90, p = 0.002], absence of lymph node dissection (HR 1.28, p = 0.041), ureteral tumor location (HR 1.44, p < 0.0005) and a shorter interval from surgery to disease recurrence (p < 0.0005) were significantly associated with cancer-specific mortality. The adjusted 6-, 12- and 24-month postrecurrence cancer-specific mortality was 73, 60 and 57 %, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 80 % of patients who experience disease recurrence after RNU die within 2 years after recurrence. Patients with non-organ-confined stage, absence of lymph node dissection, ureteral tumor location and/or shorter time to disease recurrence died of their tumor more quickly than their counterparts. These factors should be considered in patient counseling and risk stratification for salvage treatment decision making.

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