Objectives: To explore predictive factors of disease recurrence after radical nephroureterectomy in patients with upper urinary tract urothelial cancer. Methods: A multi-institutional national database promoted by the Japanese Urological Association including 293 institutions and 1172 patients was used for the present study. Patient with non-metastatic upper urinary tract urothelial cancer who underwent primary radical nephroureterectomy with curative intent were analyzed. Univariate analysis using the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate Cox regression models with stepwise selection was used to evaluate time to recurrence after surgery. Results: The median duration of follow up was 55.8 months, and disease recurred in 325 (27.7%) patients at a median of 11.4 months after radical nephroureterectomy. According to a Cox proportional hazards model, the Union International Contre le Cancer 2002 pathological stage of the primary tumor, lymph node status, presence of lymphatic and/or vascular invasion, infiltrative growth pattern, and age were independent predictors (P < 0.05) of recurrence-free survival. Conclusions: Despite several limitations, our analysis suggests that pathological tumor stage, lymph node status, lymphovascular invasion, infiltrative growth pattern and age represent important prognostic variables after radical nephroureterectomy in Japanese patients with upper urinary tract urothelial cancer. This information could be potentially used to select patients for adjuvant systemic therapy.
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