Fast Five Quiz: Upper Urinary Tract Urothelial Carcinoma (UUTUC)

Kyle A. Richards, MD


August 13, 2020

UUTUCs comprise up to one tenth of urothelial carcinomas, with the rest being urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. Although UUTUC is histologically identical to urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, there is increasing evidence that UUTUC is a distinct disease entity, on the basis of phenotypical and genotypical (genetic and epigenetic) differences. UUTUCs have been found to demonstrate more microsatellite instability and hypermethylation than urothelial carcinoma of the lower urinary tract (bladder).

Surgical intervention is the main form of treatment for all localized UUTUCs.

UUTUCs and urothelial carcinoma of the bladder share the same risk factors and can occur as a part of "field cancerization," which results from exposure of the urothelium to carcinogens excreted or activated in the urine. Tobacco smoking is the most significant acquired risk factor for UUTUC and bladder cancer.

The recurrence rate is high for both UUTUCs and urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.

Learn more about the etiology of UUTUC.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.