Molecular profile of urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract: are pelvicalyceal and ureteral tumors different?

Laura Maria Krabbe, Aditya Bagrodia, Mary E. Westerman, Bishoy A. Gayed, Ahmed Q. Haddad, Arthur I Sagalowsky, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Payal Kapur, Yair Lotan, Vitaly Margulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the potential biologic impact of tumor location on oncological outcomes for patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), we used prospectively collected molecular signatures of high-grade UTUC. Methods: Immunohistochemical staining for p21, p27, p53, cyclin E, and Ki-67 was prospectively performed on 96 UTUC specimens of patients with non-metastatic high-grade UTUC treated with extirpative surgery. Patients were grouped according to primary tumor location (pelvicalyceal vs. ureteral) where primary tumor was defined as the highest tumor stage and diameter. Primary outcome was assessment of differences in marker expression between groups. Secondary outcome was difference in survival according to marker status. Results: Pelvicalyceal and ureteral tumors were found in 52.1 and 47.9 %, respectively, and 42.7 % of patients had non-organ-confined disease. Over a median follow-up of 22.0 months, 31.2 and 20.8 % of patients experienced disease recurrence and died of UTUC, respectively. The total number of altered markers stained for was 0–2 in 67.7 and 3–5 in 32.3 % of patients. The number of altered markers and alteration status of markers were not significantly different between patients with primary pelvicalyceal versus ureteral tumors when stratified by tumor stage and nodal status. There were no significant differences in survival outcomes between both groups when stratified by number of altered markers (0–2 and 3–5). Conclusions: The prospective assessment of selected cell cycle and proliferative markers suggests no molecular difference between UTUC of the pelvicalyceal system and that of the ureter. Our study is limited by its size and definition of location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalWorld journal of urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Comparison
  • Molecular markers
  • Upper urinary tract
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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