Centers of Excellence
Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma
Upper tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUCs) are a heterogeneous group of malignancies arising from the urothelium at the level of the renal pelvis or ureter. They comprise 5% to 10% of all urothelial carcinomas and are diagnosed in approximately two per 100,000 persons in the United States annually, the majority of whom are adults older than 70 years.1-3 A significant percentage of UTUCs are low-grade; these primarily papillary tumors are substantially less aggressive than high-grade UTUCs and demonstrate a low rate of cancer-specific mortality, but hematuria and urinary obstruction are common and require management.4-6
Sam S. Chang, MD, MBA, Patricia and Rodes Hart Endowed Professor of Urologic Surgery and Oncology, is the Oncology Fellowship Director and Vice-Chair of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His clinical practice focuses on urologic oncology and he has led numerous guideline panels in prostate, bladder and kidney cancer and formerly chaired the American Joint Committee on Cancer GU Staging Task Force. Author of more than 275 articles and recipient of multiple awards such as the SUO’s first-ever Distinguished Service Award, a CaPCURE Prostate Cancer Young Investigator Award, multiple Journal of Urology Best Reviewer, and the AUA Gold Cystoscope Award, he currently serves as Assistant Secretary of the AUA.
Upper tract urothelial carcinoma, which may affect the renal pelvis or ureter, is a relatively rare disease, accounting for less than 10% of all urothelial carcinomas. In parallel to how we view urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, the risk of recurrence and progression from upper tract urothelial carcinoma depends on tumor grade and stage.Read More