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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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UROTHELIAL CANCER OF THE UPPER URINARY TRACT
Grant P. REDROW, Surena F. MATIN
Department of Urology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
Upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) is a rare but highly morbid genitourinary malignancy. In 2014 approximately 15,000 new cases were diagnosed in the United States. It accounts for approximately 5-10% of all urothelial cell carcinomas, and 10% of renal tumors. Recent research has increased understanding of the epidemiology of this disease, including several high-risk populations. Environmental exposure to tobacco as well as aristolochic acid, and other carcinogens significantly increase the development of UTUC. Additionally, the genetic condition of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC), also known as Lynch Syndrome (LS) is linked to development of UTUC. Advances in imaging, ureteroscopy, cytological techniques and pathological recognition have allowed for improved detection of primary tumors and recurrent disease. Non-invasive imaging with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) now represent the gold standard in imaging detection and surveillance, while technological advances in ureteroscopy allow for minimally invasive approaches to obtain pathologic diagnosis anywhere within the upper tracts. This review will highlight these recent improvements to allow better understanding of who is affected by this rare and morbid disease, as well as the latest developments in detection and surveillance.