Background: There's no consensus about the difference between renal pelvic and ureteral tumors in terms of clinical features, pathological outcomes, epigenetic biomarkers and prognosis. Methods: The data of 341 patients with renal pelvic tumors and 271 patients with ureteral tumors who underwent radical nephroureterectomy between 1999 and 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. The clinicopathologic features, gene promoters methylation status and oncologic outcomes were compared. Regression analysis was performed to identify oncologic prognosticators. Results: Patients with ureteral tumors were relatively older (p = 0.002), and had higher likelihood of pre-operative renal insufficiency (p < 0.001), hypertension (p = 0.038) and hydronephrosis (P < 0.001), while in patients with renal pelvic tumors gross hematuria was more prevalent (p < 0.001). Renal pelvic tumors tended to exhibit non-organ-confined disease (p = 0.004) and larger tumor diameter (p = 0.001), while ureteral tumors had a higher likelihood of exhibiting high grade (p < 0.001) and sessile architecture (p = 0.023). Hypermethylated gene promoters were significantly more prevalent in renal pelvic tumors (p < 0.001), specifically for TMEFF2, GDF15, RASSF1A, SALL3 and ABCC6 (all p < 0.05). Tumor location failed to independently predict cancer-specific survival, overall survival, intravesical or contralateral recurrence (all p > 0.05), while gene methylation status was demonstrated to be an independent prognostic factor. Conclusion: Renal pelvic tumors and ureteral tumors exhibited significant differences in clinicopathologic characteristics and epigenetic biomarkers. Gene promoter methylation might be an important mechanism in explaining distinct tumor patterns and behaviors in UTUC.
- Radical nephroureterectomy (RNU)
- Renal pelvis
- Upper tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUC)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine