Endourologic treatment of upper urinary tract transitional cell carcinoma

Michael C. Ost, Brian A. VanderBrink, Benjamin R. Lee, Arthur D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The traditional treatment for upper tract transitional cell carcinoma (UTTCC) consists of radical nephroureterectomy. A more conservative approach, however, was required in cases of bilateral UTTCC and in patients with disease in a solitary kidney but who had underlying comorbidities that made them unsuitable candidates for open surgery. Minimally invasive treatment methods were developed for these select groups of patients. Because of technological advancements and refinement in endoscopic techniques, most patients with UTTCC, even those with normal contralateral kidneys, can now be offered minimally invasive treatment with single or multimodal approaches involving ureteroscopy or percutaneous resection. For patients with low-stage, low-grade UTTCC, five-year survival rates are comparable for those treated endourologically and those treated by nephroureterectomy. High-grade lesions have much higher recurrence and progression rates than lower-grade lesions, and nephroureterectomy is therefore recommended in patients with high-grade disease. The use of adjuvant instillation in the treatment of UTTCC, administered via antegrade and retrograde methods, has been shown to improve outcomes. For recurrences to be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, and acceptable cancer-free survival rates maintained, long-term rigorous follow-up after endourologic treatment, with regular surveillance ureteroscopy, is crucial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
JournalNature Clinical Practice Urology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 13 2005


  • Bacillus Calmette-Guërin
  • Endourology
  • Nephrostomy
  • Percutaneous
  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Ureteroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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