World Journal of Urology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 871–877 | Cite as

The prognostic impact of squamous and glandular differentiation for upper tract urothelial carcinoma patients after radical nephroureterectomy

  • Qi Tang
  • Gengyan Xiong
  • Xuesong LiEmail author
  • Dong Fang
  • Chenguang Xi
  • Lei Zhang
  • Kaiwei Yang
  • Lin Yao
  • Cuijian Zhang
  • Wei Yu
  • Qun He
  • Kan Gong
  • Zhisong He
  • Liqun ZhouEmail author
Original Article



To evaluate the association between tumor squamous and/or glandular differentiation and tumor biological characteristics and to validate the impact of these histologic variants on oncologic outcomes of UTUC patients.


We retrospectively analyzed the data of 687 UTUC patients who underwent radical nephroureterectomy in our institute, from Aug 1, 1999, to Dec 31, 2011. All pathologic sections were reevaluated for histologic differentiation variations (squamous and glandular). The clinicopathological variables of patients were reviewed.


Among the 687 UTUC patients in our study, 53 (7.7 %) had squamous differentiation, 20 (2.9 %) had glandular differentiation and 8 (1.2 %) had both histologic variants. Patients with mixed histologic variant tended to have significant larger percentage of sessile tumor architecture (58.0 vs 18.2 %), presence of CIS (7.4 vs 2.3 %), advanced T stage, advanced tumor grade and lymph node metastasis (17.3 vs 6.6 %; all p < 0.05). Patients with squamous and/or glandular differentiation had significant worse cancer-specific survival than pure UTUC patients (p < 0.001), while significant difference of recurrence-free survival between two groups was not observed (p = 0.126). Patients with both squamous and glandular differentiation did not show significantly worse CSS than those with single histologic variant. Univariate analyses revealed that tumor squamous and/or glandular differentiation was a significant factor on survival (p < 0.001). However, the influence did not remain significant after adjusted for other factors in the multivariate analyses (p = 0.076, HR 1.42).


UTUC patients with squamous and/or glandular differentiation are more likely to have aggressive tumor biological features and tend to have worse postoperative outcomes.


Upper tract urothelial carcinoma Histologic differentiation Prognosis 



This work was supported by grants from the Clinical Features Research of Capital (No. Z151100004015173), the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing (7152146) and the Collaborative Research Foundation of Peking University Health Science Center and National Taiwan University, College of Medicine (BMU20120318).

Authors’ contribution

Qi Tang involved in protocol/project development, data collection and management, drafting the manuscript and data analysis. Gengyan Xiong involved in protocol/project development, data collection or management, drafting the manuscript and data analysis. Xuesong Li involved in protocol/project development, revision of the manuscript and supervision. Dong Fang involved in data collection and management and revision of the manuscript. Chenguang Xi involved in data collection and management. Lei Zhang involved in data collection and management. Kaiwei Yang involved in data collection and management. Lin Yao involved in revision of the manuscript. Cuijian Zhang involved in revision of the manuscript. Wei Yu involved in revision of the manuscript. Qun He involved in protocol/project development. Kan Gong involved in protocol/project development. Zhisong He involved in protocol/project development. Liqun Zhou involved in protocol/project development and supervision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

Not involved.

Informed consent

All patients had signed consent forms to authorize the analysis of their medical records. The institutional review board approved this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Tang
    • 1
  • Gengyan Xiong
    • 1
  • Xuesong Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dong Fang
    • 1
  • Chenguang Xi
    • 1
  • Lei Zhang
    • 1
  • Kaiwei Yang
    • 1
  • Lin Yao
    • 1
  • Cuijian Zhang
    • 1
  • Wei Yu
    • 1
  • Qun He
    • 1
  • Kan Gong
    • 1
  • Zhisong He
    • 1
  • Liqun Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Urology, Peking University First Hospital, Institute of Urology, Peking UniversityNational Urological Cancer CenterBeijingChina

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