Urinary Neuroendocrine Neoplasms Treated in the “Modern Era”: A Multicenter Retrospective Review

Bryan Khuong Le, Patrick McGarrah, Alan Paciorek, Amr Mohamed, Andrea B. Apolo, David L. Chan, Diane Reidy-Lagunes, Haley Hauser, Jaydira D. Rivero, Julia Whitman, Kathleen Batty, Li Zhang, Nitya Raj, Tiffany Le, Emily Bergsland, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Primary urinary neuroendocrine neoplasms (U-NENs) are extremely rare thus optimal treatment is unknown. Grading and treatment are typically extrapolated from other primary sites. Since 2010, the clinical landscape for NENs has changed substantially. We performed a retrospective review of U-NENs to assess treatment patterns and oncologic outcomes of patients treated in the recent era of NEN therapy. Patients and Methods: A multicenter retrospective review of patients diagnosed after 2005 and alive after 2010. Time to treatment failure (TTF) was used to evaluate progression and toxicity for systemic therapy. Tumors were categorized as having either well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor (WDNET) or poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma (PDNEC) histology. Results: A total of 134 patients from 6 centers were included in our analysis, including 94 (70%) bladder, 32 (24%) kidney, 2 (1.5%) urethra and 4 other urinary primaries (3.0%). Poorly-differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma was more common in bladder (92%) than non-bladder tumors (8%). Median Ki-67 available in bladder primary was 90% (n = 24), kidney 10% (n = 23), ureter 95% (n = 1), urethra 54% (n = 2), and others 90% (n = 3). Patients received a median of 2 therapies (range 0-10). Median time to death was not reached in locoregional WDNETs versus 8.2 years (95% CI, 3.5-noncalculable) in metastatic WDNETs (predominantly renal primary). Median time to death was 3.6 years (95% CI, 2.2-9.2) in locoregional PDNECs versus 1 year (95% CI, 0.8-1.3) in metastatic PDNECs (predominantly bladder primary). Conclusion: This is the most extensive series examining treatment patterns in patients with U-NENs in the recent era of NEN therapy. The apparent inferior survival for bladder NENs is likely due to the preponderance of PDNECs in this group. As predicted, treatments for U-NENs mirrored that of other more common NENs. In our retrospective cohort, we observed that patients with WD-UNETs treated with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) and everolimus suggested potential activity for disease control in WD-UNETs. Prospective studies are needed to assess the activity of new oncology drugs in UNENs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-414.e5
JournalClinical Genitourinary Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Modern era treatment
  • Poorly differentiated bladder neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Poorly differentiated urinary neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Well-differentiated renal neuroendocrine tumors
  • Well-differentiated urinary neuroendocrine tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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