Prognostic factors in male urethral cancer

Farhang Rabbani
Cancer 2011 June 1, 117 (11): 2426-34

BACKGROUND: Male urethral cancer is a rare neoplasm, with the published literature consisting of small single-institution retrospective series. As such, there is no objective analysis of prognostic factors and treatment outcome. The author sought to use the population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database to evaluate prognostic factors in male urethral cancer.

METHODS: From 1988 to 2006, 2065 men were identified in the SEER database as having primary urethral cancer. Median follow-up was 2.5 years. Cancer-specific and overall survival was computed using the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to evaluate patient age at diagnosis, year of diagnosis, race, histologic type, grade, T stage, nodal status, M stage, extent of surgery, and type of radiation as potential significant independent predictors of survival.

RESULTS: Overall survival at 5 and 10 years was 46.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 43.9-48.6%) and 29.3% (95% CI, 26.6-32.0%), respectively, whereas cancer-specific survival at 5 and 10 years was 68.0% (95% CI, 65.5-70.5%) and 60.1% (95% CI, 57.0-63.2%), respectively. Advanced age, higher grade, higher T stage, systemic metastases, other histology versus transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), and no surgery versus radical resection were predictors of death and death from disease, whereas adenocarcinoma was associated with a lower likelihood of death and death from disease as compared with TCC. In addition, nodal metastasis was a predictor of death. Surgery had a better outcome than radiation for stage T2 -T4 nonmetastatic disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Age, grade, TNM stage, histology, and extent of surgery were predictive of overall and cancer-specific survival.

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