Objectives: This study aimed at investigating the prognostic impact of tumor necrosis and preoperative monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio (MLR) in patients treated with radical nephroureterec-tomy (RNU) for upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). Methods: A total of 521 patients with UTUC treated with RNU from January 2008 to June 2019 at our institution were enrolled. Histolog-ical tumor necrosis was defined as the presence of microscopic coagulative necrosis. The optimal value of MLR was determined as 0.4 by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis based on cancer-specific mortality. The Kaplan–Meier method with log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression models were performed to evaluate the impact of tumor necrosis and MLR on overall (OS), cancer-specific (CSS), and recurrence-free survival (RFS). Furthermore, ROC analysis was used to estimate the predictive ability of potential prognostic factors for oncological outcomes. Results: Tumor necrosis was present in 106 patients (20%), which was significantly associated with tumor location, high pathological tumor stage, lymph node metastasis, high tumor grade, lymphovascular invasion, tumor size, and increased monocyte counts. On multivariate analysis, the combination of tumor necrosis and preoperative MLR was an independent prognosticator of OS, CSS, and RFS (all p < 0.05). Moreover, ROC analyses revealed the predictive accuracy of a combination of tumor necrosis and preoperative MLR for OS, CSS, and RFS with the area under the ROC curve of 0.745, 0.810, and 0.782, respectively (all p < 0.001). Conclusions: The combination of tumor necrosis and preoperative MLR can be used as an independent prognosticator in patients with UTUC after RNU. The identification of this combination could help physicians to recognize high-risk patients with unfavorable outcomes and devise more appropriate postoperative treatment plans.
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