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Advances in Urology
Volume 2013, Article ID 429585, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Ureteroscopic Laser Treatment of Upper Urinary Tract Urothelial Cell Carcinomas: Can a Tumour Free Status Be Achieved?

1Department of Urology, University of Thrace, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece
2Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Thrace, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece

Received 2 July 2013; Revised 13 August 2013; Accepted 13 August 2013

Academic Editor: Axel S. Merseburger

Copyright © 2013 Christos Kalaitzis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. In cases of anatomic or functional single kidney with urothelial tumours of the upper urinary tract, the endoscopic laser ablation has proven efficacious. Based on the knowledge that low-grade, low-stage upper tract transitional cell carcinomas rarely progress to invasive lesions, indications for endoscopic laser ablation have expanded to include patients with bilateral functioning kidneys and low-grade tumours. The question that remains to be answered is whether endoscopic laser ablation has the ability to completely eradicate upper urinary tract tumours. Methods. We performed in 25 patients in a period of 11 years 288 ureteroscopies and, if needed, laser ablation of upper urinary tract tumours in imperative indication. Results. In 32% of the patients the cancer remained even after several laser sessions. 64% of patients were tumour free after one or more laser sessions but remained clear only for the next 3 months. Only 1 patient was tumour free for a period of 68 months after 1 session of laser treatment. The procedure had low complication rates. Conclusion. The laser technology and the introduction of small diameter semirigid and flexible ureteroscopes made ablation of upper urinary tract tumours possible and safe. Nevertheless a complete resection of the carcinomas is rarely possible.