Introduction: Small cell carcinoma (SCC) of upper urinary tract is not common and often associated with poor prognosis. We aimed to analyze the prognostic factors based on the pooled cases published in the literature. Patients and Methods: In addition to 10 cases treated at our hospital since 1990, 52 additional published cases with SCC of renal pelvis and ureter were enrolled into this study. We investigated the following risk factors associated with clinical outcome: age at diagnosis, gender, tumor location, histology, tumor stage, and treatment modality using univariate log-rank test and multivariate Cox analyses. Results: A total of 62 cases were enrolled into the study, including ten added by us. There were 30 cases from renal pelvis, 26 from the ureter, and 6 both sites. The mean age is 65.8 ± 13.0 years, and the median survival is 12 months. Patients with SCC of renal pelvis were significantly younger than did those of the ureter (P = 0.004), as well as higher stage (P = 0.043). Univariate analysis showed that both tumor stage and the presence of radiotherapy were significant predictors of disease-specific overall survival (P = 0.015 and 0.029, respectively), as well as the overall survival (P = 0.035 and 0.036, respectively). Cox's multivariate analysis showed tumor stage is an independent prognostic factor for disease-specific overall survival (hazard ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-4.13; P = 0.029). Conclusions: In the current study, tumor stage is significantly associated with disease-specific overall survival. This finding warns us the importance of early diagnosis of SCC.
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