Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the urinary tract: A clinicopathological study of 30 pure and mixed cases

Ecaterina F. Tamas, Matthew E. Nielsen, Mark P. Schoenberg, Jonathan I. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


We studied 28 cases of lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the bladder, one case in the renal pelvis, and one in the urethra. The mean age of the patients was 67.6 years with 21 (70%) males. Seventeen cases (56.7%) were pure with the remaining mixed with other patterns of carcinoma, including invasive urothelial carcinoma (n=10), invasive adenocarcinoma (n=3), and squamous cell carcinoma (n=2). The surface demonstrated carcinoma in situ (CIS) in six cases, noninvasive high-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma in three cases, and in situ adenocarcinoma in one case. In 19/30 (66%) cases, there was a heavy lymphocytic infiltrate and in the remaining 11/30 (34%) cases a mixed inflammatory infiltrate. None of the 26 cases labeled for EBV-encoded RNA by in situ hybridization. Tumor stages at presentation were: seven cases T1 (23%); 14 cases T2 (47%); seven cases T3 (23%); and two cases T4 (7%). Treatment consisted of radical cystectomy in 13/30 cases (43%); partial cystectomy in 4/30 cases (13%); nephrectomy in one case (3%), and transurethral resection often followed by radiation or chemotherapy in 12/30 (40%) cases. The mean follow up for patients without progression was 31 months. Eight of 27 cases with follow-up (30%) cases had tumor recurrence, with seven patients having metastases. In cases treated with cystectomy, the 5-year actuarial recurrence-free risk was 59% (62 and 57%, for pure and mixed cases, respectively). Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma, whether in pure or mixed form, has a similar prognosis to ordinary urothelial carcinoma when treated by cystectomy. Of the three pure cases treated by chemotherapy, two were free of disease at 4 and 65 months and the third had recurrent disease at 17 months. Given the association of lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma with urothelial carcinoma in 47% of our cases and its propensity for multifocality, partial cystectomy would typically be ill advised for lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)828-834
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 11 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • EBER
  • EBV encoded RNA
  • Lymphoepithelioma
  • Lymphoepithelioma-like
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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