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Urethral Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 03/12/2014

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Recurrent or Metastatic Urethral Cancer

Current Clinical Trials

Local recurrences of urethral cancer may be amenable to local modality therapy with radiation or surgery, with or without chemotherapy. (Refer to the Treatment Option Overview section of this summary for more information.) Metastatic disease may be treated with regimens in common use for other urothelial transitional cell or squamous cell carcinomas, or anal carcinomas, depending upon the histology.[1-3]

Treatment options:

  1. Locally recurrent urethral cancer after radiation therapy should be treated by surgical excision, if feasible.
  2. Locally recurrent urethral cancer after surgery alone should be considered for combination radiation and wider surgical resection.
  3. Metastatic urethral cancer should be considered for clinical trials using chemotherapy. Transitional cell cancer of the urethra may respond favorably to the same chemotherapy regimens employed for advanced transitional cell cancer of the bladder.[1-4]

The level of evidence for these treatment options is 3iiiDiv.

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent urethral cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References
  1. Trabulsi DJ, Gomella LG: Cancer of the urethra and penis. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011, pp 1272-79. 

  2. Trabulsi EJ, Hoffman-Censits J: Chemotherapy for penile and urethral carcinoma. Urol Clin North Am 37 (3): 467-74, 2010.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Lin CC, Hsu CH, Huang CY, et al.: Phase II trial of weekly paclitaxel, cisplatin plus infusional high dose 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin for metastatic urothelial carcinoma. J Urol 177 (1): 84-9; discussion 89, 2007.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  4. VanderMolen LA, Sheehy PF, Dillman RO: Successful treatment of transitional cell carcinoma of the urethra with chemotherapy. Cancer Invest 20 (2): 206-7, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]