J Cancer 2013; 4(4):336-342. doi:10.7150/jca.6215

Research Paper

Low Grade Micropapillary Urothelial Carcinoma, Does It Exist? - Analysis of Management and Outcomes from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Database

Srinivas Vourganti1✉, Andrew Harbin2, Eric A. Singer3, Brian Shuch1, Adam R. Metwalli1, Piyush K. Agarwal1

1. Urologic Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
2. Department of Urology, Georgetown University Hospital
3. Section of Urologic Oncology, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Abstract

Objective: To elucidate the oncologic behavior of Micropapillary Urothelial Bladder Carcinoma (MPBC), a rare aggressive variant histology.

Methods: All MPBC patients in SEER 17 database were compared with those with traditional urothelial carcinoma (UC). Kaplan-Meier curves were used to determine OS and CSS. A Cox proportional hazards model (CPH) was constructed to test the effect of covariates on outcomes.

Results: From 2001-2008, 120 MPBC patients were identified, 0.1% of all bladder cancer. MPBC presented with more high grade (86.1% vs. 38.7%, p<0.0001) and more high stage disease (40.8% NMI vs. 90.4% NMI, p < 0.0001) than UC. Low grade (LG) NMI MPBC had worse OS and CSS compared to LG UC (p=0.0037, p<0.0001 respectively), and did no better than high grade (HG) NMI MPBC. No difference was detected between HG NMI MPBC and HG NMI UC pts. A CPH model controlling for stage, grade, treatment, age, race, and sex detected no significant survival difference in MPBC vs. UC (HR 1.04, p=0.7966). For NMI MPBC (n=49), only 4 patients underwent definitive therapy, of whom none died of disease. However, in those not receiving definitive therapy (n=45), 7 cancer specific deaths occurred (15.6%).

Conclusion: Controlling for stage and grade, no survival difference could be detected between MPBC and UC. Low grade NMI MPBC behaved similarly to both high grade MPBC and high grade UC. We propose that all MPBC (regardless of grade) be managed as high grade disease, and that strong consideration for definitive therapy should be given in all cases.

Keywords: bladder, carcinoma, grade, micropapillary, SEER

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How to cite this article:
Vourganti S, Harbin A, Singer EA, Shuch B, Metwalli AR, Agarwal PK. Low Grade Micropapillary Urothelial Carcinoma, Does It Exist? - Analysis of Management and Outcomes from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Database. J Cancer 2013; 4(4):336-342. doi:10.7150/jca.6215. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v04p0336.htm