Nephron-sparing ureteroscopic surgery vs. radical nephroureterectomy: comparable survival-outcomes in upper tract urothelial carcinoma

Takuya Tsujino, Kazumasa Komura, Teruo Inamoto, Ryoichi Maenosono, Takeshi Hashimoto, Takahiro Adachi, Yosuke Hirasawa, Satoshi Tokushige, Takaya Ohno, Shogo Yamazaki, Tatsuo Fukushima, Ko Nakamura, Yusuke Yano, Kazuki Nishimura, Shoko Kinoshita, Keita Nakamori, Takeshi Tsutsumi, Tomohisa Matsunaga, Yuki Yoshikawa, Taizo UchimotoTomoaki Takai, Koichiro Minami, Hirofumi Uehara, Hajime Hirano, Hayahito Nomi, Kiyoshi Takahara, Yoshio Ohno, Haruhito Azuma

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This study investigates the utility of ureteroscopic surgery (URS) as an alternative to radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) in managing upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), with a focus on survival outcomes and re-evaluation of current the European Association of Urology guidelines criteria. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, multi-institutional review of 143 UTUC patients treated with URS (n = 35) or RNU (n = 108). Clinicopathological factors were analyzed, and survival outcomes were assessed using Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox proportional-hazards models. Results: The median follow-up period was 27 months. Overall survival (OS) and radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) were comparable between the URS and RNU groups (OS: HR 2.42, 95% CI 0.63–9.28, P = 0.0579; rPFS: HR 1.82, 95% CI 0.60–5.47, P = 0.1641). URS conferred superior renal function preservation. In patients characterized by factors such as radiographically invisible lesions, negative cytology, pTa stage, low-grade tumors, and multiple lesions, the OS outcomes with URS were comparable to those with RNU as follows: radiographically invisible lesions (P = 0.5768), negative cytology (P = 0.7626), pTa stage (P = 0.6694), low-grade tumors (P = 0.9870), and multiple lesions (P = 0.8586). Conclusion: URS offers survival outcomes similar to RNU, along with better renal function preservation, especially in low-risk UTUC patients. These findings underscore the urgency of re-evaluating the current EAU guidelines and encourage further research into determining the ideal patient selection for URS in UTUC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3585-3591
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


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