Throughout 2019, we have continued to see progress in the diagnosis, risk assessment and genetic profiling, and possible treatment of upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). I would like to highlight some of the most exciting findings reported so far this year.

Targetable mutations in UTUC: At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, Dr. Brian R. Winters, Dr. Andrew
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.


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