Upper tract urothelial carcinoma is a cancer that can occur anywhere from the inner linings of the kidney, down the ureter, in the bladder and down the urethra.
Typically 92% of all urothelial carcinomas occur in the bladder, but about 7-8% of urothelial carcinomas can occur in the upper lining of the kidney, which we call the calyx and renal pelvis. It could also occur in the ureter, or in the urethra. The upper tract urothelial carcinoma cancer (UTUC) in the renal pelvis or in the ureter, can develop cancer in the bladder over time.
Descending tumors are tumors that occur in the renal pelvis, or in the calyx, or in the ureters, and it actually feeds down into the bladder. And for those patients we find that 22-47% of those patients will develop bladder cancer some time down in the future.
- Analane dyes
Patients with a syndrome called Lynch Syndrome have an increased chance of developing upper tract urothelial carcinoma. Lynch Syndrome is an inherited cancer syndromes. UTUC is the third most common type of cancer of that syndrome, the most common being colon cancer. We estimate that 21% of patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma have a variant of Lynch Syndrome.