We investigated whether a history of endoscopic tumor ablation impacts oncologic outcomes after radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). Using a multi-institutional database that contained patients who were treated with RNU, oncologic outcomes were assessed according to history of ureteroscopic tumor ablation. Disease-free survival (DFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine independent predictors of disease recurrence and cancer-specific mortality after RNU. The study included 1268 patients, 853 men and 415 women, with a mean age of 67.5 years (range 32-94 y) and 52.8 months median follow-up after RNU. A total of 175 (13%) patients underwent RNU after endoscopic tumor ablation and 1093 (87%) patients underwent RNU without a history of endoscopic ablation. The 5-year DFS and CSS rates were 72% and 77% in those with a history of tumor ablation vs 69% and 73% in those without a history of ablation (P = 0.171 and P = 0.365, respectively). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, history of ablation therapy was not associated with disease recurrence or cancer-specific mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.79, P = 0.185 and HR: 0.7, P = 0.078, respectively). Our collaborative international efforts suggest that in selected patients, endoscopic tumor ablation does not adversely affect the recurrence and survival after subsequent RNU for UTUC. Our data support the continued role of ureteroscopic ablation of UTUC in appropriately selected patients.
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