Aggressive combined-modality therapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the female urethra


Background A 48-year old woman presented to an emergency department with acute urinary retention necessitating suprapubic catheterization.

Investigations Pelvic examination under anesthetic by both a urologist and gynecologist, biopsy of the urethral tumor and of the cervix, pathological analysis, MRI of the pelvis, CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

Diagnosis Poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of the urethra, T4N0M0.

Management The patient received two cycles of neoadjuvant TIP (paclitaxel, ifosfamide, cisplatin) chemotherapy, resulting in complete remission, followed by consolidative chemoradiation therapy (radiation therapy given with synchronous weekly cisplatin). She remained relapse-free 48 months after diagnosis, with normal voiding and sexual function.

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Correspondence to Steve Nicholson.

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Nicholson, S., Tsang, D. & Summerton, D. Aggressive combined-modality therapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the female urethra. Nat Rev Urol 5, 574–577 (2008).

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