Objectives: To describe the nature of metastatic upper urinary tract urothelial cancer and determine the prognostic predictors or treatment modality associated with all-cause mortality. Methods: Within the nationwide case series study of the Japanese Urological Association, consisting of 1509 patients with urinary tract urothelial cancer diagnosed in 2005, we identified 102 patients with metastatic urinary tract urothelial cancer. Univariate and multivariate survival analyses identified prognostic outcome variables. Results: Predominant sites of distant metastasis at diagnosis were the lungs (54.9%), distant lymph nodes (37.3%), bone (32.4%) and liver (19.6%). Of 102 patients, 70 patients (68.6%) died during the median follow-up period of 6 months, and the 2-year overall survival rate was estimated at 22%. The median survival time to all-cause mortality was 8.5 months (95% confidence interval 6.4-10.7 months). On multivariate analysis, independent predictive factors for all-cause mortality were age (hazard ratio 2.36, P = 0.015) and liver metastasis (hazard ratio 2.35, P = 0.037). Patients who received multimodal treatment including chemotherapy and surgery showed significantly better prognosis (median survival time 25.8 months) compared with patients treated with chemotherapy alone (median survival time 7.3 months) or best supportive care (median survival time 4.3 months). Conclusions: Age at diagnosis and the presence of liver metastasis seem to have an impact on survival of metastatic urinary tract urothelial cancer patients. Multimodal treatment including systemic chemotherapy and surgery might result in better prognosis in some of these patients.
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