Purpose Current guidelines do not yet provide any recommendations for adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma managed with radical nephroureterectomy. We evaluated whether an adjuvant chemotherapeutic regimen would affect the clinical outcome in patients with high risk upper tract urothelial carcinoma. Materials and Methods We identified 873 patients who had undergone radical nephrouretectomy for localized upper tract urothelial carcinoma at 14 Japanese institutions between 1993 and 2011. We assessed whether the type of regimen, such as methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin and cisplatin, and gemcitabine and cisplatin, in an adjuvant setting, could affect the subsequent clinical outcome of patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma. Results On multivariate analysis pathological T stage, tumor grade, lymphovascular invasion and lymph node involvement were prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival and cancer specific survival. We defined 229 patients with 3 or more of these factors as the high risk group. In an analysis according to adjuvant regimen, Kaplan-Meier curves showed that the 1 and 2-year recurrence-free survival rates in the methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin and cisplatin treated group were 71.4% and 47.9%, which were significantly higher than in the gemcitabine and cisplatin treated group (48.2% and not reached, p=0.022) or those not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy (53.4% and 39.6%, p=0.039). Similar results were observed in terms of cancer specific survival. Conclusions Our study showed that pT3-4, tumor grade 3, positive lymphovascular invasion and lymph node involvement were independent risk factors for disease mortality in patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma treated with radical nephroureterectomy. In the high risk group methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin and cisplatin adjuvant chemotherapy contributed to improve subsequent mortality compared to gemcitabine and cisplatin or no adjuvant chemotherapy.
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