Oncologic outcomes following radical nephroureterectomy for upper tract urothelial carcinoma: a literature review

Gabrielle Grob, Devin Rogers, Savio D. Pandolfo, Srinivas Vourganti, Maurizio Buscarini, Reza Mehrazin, B. Mayer Grob, Maria C. Mir, Sisto Perdonà, Ithaar H. Derweesh, Antonio Franco, Edward E. Cherullo, Ashok K. Hemal, Riccardo Autorino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) represents the gold standard treatment for non-metastatic upper tract urothelial cancer. We sought to provide a comprehensive review of reported oncologic outcomes of the RNU procedure and of factors that might impact these outcomes. Methods: A non-systematic review of the literature was conducted by performing an electronic literature search using PubMed with "radical nephroureterectomy"and "oncologic outcomes"as free text search terms. Both original articles and systematic reviews were considered. Search was limited to articles in English that were published in the last 20 years. Key Content and Findings: Open and laparoscopic RNU offer comparable oncologic outcomes. In more recent years, the discussion has de facto shifted towards the "oncological safety"of robotic RNU, which also seems to offer comparable oncologic outcomes. Several studies have looked at the impact of different treatment-, patient- and tumor-related factors. Among treatment-related factors, attention has been given to diagnostic ureteroscopy and the risk of intravesical recurrence. Surgical wait time and perioperative blood transfusion have also been studied. Perioperative chemotherapy, specifically adjuvant therapy, was shown to improve survival. Among patient-related factors, baseline chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, body mass index, and systemic inflammation have gained recent attention. Some tumor related factors, such as stage, grade, location, and multifocality may negatively impact survival outcomes. Lymphovascular invasion and histologic variants are clinically significant pathological findings. Conclusions: RNU is a procedure with measured long-term oncologic outcomes. Minimally invasive techniques have gained an established role as they seem to offer comparable oncologic "safety", although special attention is needed in relation to the method of bladder cuff excision. Robotic RNU is gaining popularity, and while evidence remains limited, the current literature supports the oncologic safety of this procedure. Several factors, which can be categorized as treatment-related, patient-related, and tumor-related, might impact the oncologic outcomes of UTUC patients undergoing RNU. These factors can provide crucial information to stratify patients based on their relative risk of disease recurrence and mortality which may guide clinical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1362
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Andrology and Urology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Nephroureterectomy
  • oncologic outcomes
  • upper tract urothelial cancer (UTUC)


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