Palliative chemotherapy for non-transitional cell carcinomas of the urothelial tract

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Abstract

Non-transitional cell carcinomas of the urothelial tract comprise 5–10% of urothelial cancers. Clinical information regarding the clinical behavior and chemotherapy outcome of non-transitional cell carcinomas of the urothelial tract are incomplete due to their rarity. The object of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and the efficacy of palliative chemotherapy in advanced non-transitional cell carcinomas of the urothelial tract. We analyzed the clinical records of 21 consecutive patients who received palliative chemotherapy for unresectable or metastatic non-transitional cell carcinomas of the urothelial tract between January 1995 and November 2007. All the 21 patients received first-line chemotherapy with platinum-based regimens which are known to be effective in transitional cell urothelial carcinomas. The median age of the patients was 57 years (range, 27–71 years). The primary sites of involvement were the bladder, urethra, urachus, and ureter in 43%, 29%, 19%, and 10% of the patients, respectively. Adenocarcinoma was the most common histological type (67%); squamous cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma comprised 24 and 10% of the histologic types, respectively. With a median duration of follow-up of 32 months (range, 12–71 months), the median overall survival for all 21 patients from the day of first-line chemotherapy was 13 months (95% CI, 6.8–19.2). The expected 1-year survival rate was 50.6% (95% CI, 28.6–72.5). Univariate analysis showed a better median overall survival in patients with adenocarcinoma, compared to non-adenocarcinomas (47 vs. 10 months, P = 0.049). The median overall survival of patients who received platinum-based palliative chemotherapy for advanced non-transitional cell carcinomas was comparable to previous studies for patients with transitional cell carcinomas. Adenocarcinomas appear to have a favorable prognosis for the survival of the patients who received platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced non-transitional cell carcinomas.

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