Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
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Neoadjuvant chemotherapy improves survival of patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma.

Cancer 2014 June 16
BACKGROUND: High-grade upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) is frequently upstaged after surgery and is associated with uniformly poor survival. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may offer a way to improve clinical outcomes. The authors compared the survival rates of patients with UTUC who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery with the rates among patients who did not.

METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of patients with high-risk UTUC who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery from 2004 to 2008 (study group) compared with a matched cohort who underwent initial surgery from 1993 to 2003 (control group). Fisher exact tests, Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, and Kaplan-Meier methods were used. The log-rank test and Cox proportional-hazards models were used to evaluate the association of the 2 outcomes with patient, treatment, and tumor characteristics in univariate and multivariate models.

RESULTS: Of 112 patients, there were 31 in the study group and 81 in the control group. Patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy had improved overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) with a 5-year DSS rate of 90.1% and a 5-year OS rate of 80.2% versus DSS and OS rates of 57.6% for those who underwent initial surgery (P = .0204 and P = .0015, respectively). In multivariate analyses, the neoadjuvant group had a lower risk of mortality (OS: hazard ratio, 0.42 [P = .035]; DSS: hazard ratio, 0.19 [P = .006]).

CONCLUSIONS: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy improved the survival of patients with UTUC compared with a matched historic cohort of patients who underwent initial surgery. Patients with high-risk UTUC should be considered for neoadjuvant chemotherapy in view of the limited opportunity to administer effective cisplatin-based chemotherapy after nephroureterectomy.

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