A SEER-Medicare Based Quality Score for Patients With Metastatic Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma

Daniel D. Joyce, Yong Shan, Courtney A. Stewart, Karim Chamie, Matthew D. Galsky, Stephen A. Boorjian, Stephen B. Williams, Vidit Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Population-based studies evaluating outcomes for metastatic upper tract urothelial carcinoma (mUTUC) are sparse and rarely capture both patients with de novo (synchronous) metastases and those who progress to metastatic disease (metachronous). Herein we evaluated the outcomes and costs associated with synchronous and metachronous mUTUC, utilizing a novel Methodology. Additionally, we created a guideline-based quality score to improve care in this space. Patients and Methods: We identified all patients with mUTUC aged 66 years and older included in the SEER-Medicare linked database between 2004 and 2012. Achievement of 3 quality criteria was assessed: (1) cancer-specific survival (CSS)>12 months; (2) receipt of systemic therapy; (3) receipt of hospice/palliative care. Total healthcare and out-of-pocket costs were evaluated. Regression analyses were performed to assess characteristics associated with quality criteria and total healthcare costs. Results: Of the 1223 patients identified, at least one quality criterion was met in just 40.2% and only 54 patients (4.4%) received palliative care. In multivariable analysis, patients with synchronous mUTUC (OR:0.55, 95%CI:0.41-0.72), and at least 3 comorbidities (OR:0.68, 95%CI:0.47-0.98) were less likely to achieve at least 1 quality criterion. Meeting at least 1 quality criterion was associated with increased costs ($94,677, 95%CI:87,702–101,652 versus $63,575, 95%CI:59,598-67,552). Conclusions: Less than half of patients with mUTUC met at least 1 quality criterion. Quality score achievement was associated with a modest increase in total healthcare spending. These findings not only provide guidance for future study of rare diseases using secondary data, but also highlight inadequacies in the current management of mUTUC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Genitourinary Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Chemotherapy
  • Metastatic urothelial carcinoma
  • Nephroureterectomy
  • Palliative care
  • Ureterectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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