Objectives: To determine the effect of age on the disease characteristics, treatment administered, and disease-specific survival (DSS) for patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma. The effect of advancing age on the disease extent and survival has not been well delineated in patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma. Methods: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database from the National Cancer Institute, we identified patients diagnosed with UTUC from 1984 to 2004. The data were analyzed for age (40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and <80 years), sex, race, disease extent, treatment type, and cause of death. Relationships among age, clinicopathologic features, and treatment were tabulated. The effect of age on overall and DSS were calculated using Cox proportional hazards ratio analyses. Results: The final cohort consisted of 12 639 patients. Advancing age was associated with greater T stage and grade at presentation. Of those 40-49 years old, 41% presented with invasive tumors (T2-T4) compared with 50% of octogenarians. Poor or undifferentiated tumors increased in frequency from 42% among those 40-49 years old to 59% among those <80 years old. Extirpative surgery was less likely among those with Stage T1 or less disease (88.3% vs 92.8%). Octogenarians were less likely to have undergone extirpative surgery than those 40-49 years old (86% vs 95%). Despite adjustments for T stage, grade, and treatment, DSS (hazard ratio 2.64) worsened with increasing age. Conclusions: With advancing age, we found a corresponding increase in stage and grade at presentation. After adjustment for stage, grade, and treatment type, older patients still had worse DSS.
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