• Upper urinary tract transitional tumour;
  • surgical treatment;
  • radical;
  • conservative;
  • recurrence


 To determine the outcome of conservative or radical treatment in a retrospective study of 100 consecutive patients with upper urinary tract tumours.

Patients and methods

 From 1965 to 1995, 100 patients (78 men and 22 women, mean age 65 years, range 27–82) with upper urinary tract tumours were treated surgically, using nephroureterectomy with excision of a cuff of bladder in 53 and organ-sparing treatment in 47. The outcome was assessed as survival and recurrence during a follow-up of up to 15 years.


 After radical and organ-sparing treatment, the 15-year cancer-specific survival was 69% and 25%, respectively; metastases developed in 17% and 19% and global recurrence in 40% and 70%, respectively. While locoregional and bladder recurrences were similar in the two groups (9% vs 8% and 30% vs 38%, respectively), ureteric-stump recurrence in the conservative group was 23%. There were no significant differences in survival rates between patients with single or multiple presentation, or for localization, while the grading of the lesions proved to be an accurate prognostic indicator.


 This experience of urothelial neoplasia of the upper tract highlights the difficulty in diagnosing this pathology and in entrusting screening to a non-invasive technique such as urinary cytology. The percentage recurrence observed after organ-sparing therapy indicates that this treatment should be used cautiously.