Centers of Excellence
Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma
Upper tract urothelial carcinoma is a heterogeneous disease that can be challenging to diagnose, treat, and survey. Its relative rarity has hampered its study in large prospective trials, and therapy has been guided primarily by retrospective data or by trials of urothelial bladder cancer, which we now know to be genetically and molecularly distinct.1-4 The location of upper tract urothelial carcinoma has made it difficult to collect high-quality biopsy specimens. Moreover, it is an insidious disease—the least obvious tumors can be the most dangerous, and those that appear obvious can be the most benign. For all these reasons, patients often are overtreated or undertreated, undermining quality of life and disease-free survival.
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.