Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter: Incidence, Symptoms, Treatment and Outcome

Sten Holmäng, Subodh M. Lele, Sonny L. Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations


Purpose: Squamous cell carcinomas of the renal pelvis and ureter are rare. We report a large series of patients and compare it to patients with urothelial carcinoma. Materials and Methods: The initial material was comprised of 808 patients with renal pelvis or ureteral cancer. A review of the histopathological material and clinical records was performed. Results: Only 2 (4%) of 65 patients with squamous cell carcinoma had stage pTa/pT1/pT2 tumors compared to 460 (62%) of 743 patients with urothelial carcinoma. Median survival was much shorter for surgically treated patients with squamous cell carcinoma compared to those with urothelial carcinoma (7 vs 50 months). However, there was no significant difference in the disease specific 5-year survival rate between patients with squamous cell carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma in the same disease stage. Vascular invasion, microscopic solid tumor pattern and large tumor size had negative prognostic significance in multivariate analyses. Histopathological tumor type (squamous cell carcinoma or urothelial carcinoma) had no prognostic significance. Conclusions: The prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma is poor, but stage for stage the prognosis is not different between patients with urothelial carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the renal pelvis and ureter. It can be presumed that high stage squamous cell carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma become symptomatic first at a time when the tumors already are large, deeply invasive and most often incurable. New treatment modalities are urgently needed to improve the poor prognosis in patients with advanced stage squamous cell carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007



  • carcinoma
  • kidney pelvis
  • squamous cell
  • ureter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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