Expanding indications for conservative renal surgery in renal cell carcinoma.
OBJECTIVE: To more clearly define the selection criteria for conservative renal surgery in renal cell carcinoma. METHOD: The survival experience of 42 patients who underwent in situ partial nephrectomy (21), enucleation (18), or both (3) over an eighteen-year period was examined. The presence or a history of contralateral cancer, type of surgery, gender, grade, diameter of tumor, age at diagnosis, presenting symptoms, positive surgical margins, smoking history, and stage were examined with regard to prognostic significance. RESULTS: The five-year cancer-specific survival rates were 100 percent for those patients undergoing partial nephrectomy and 84 percent for those undergoing enucleation. The local recurrence rate was 4.8 percent (2/42) for the group, with both recurrences occurring in patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease. The mean diameter of tumor resected was 4.2 cm. Those patients found to have a positive surgical margin (6) had a significantly shorter disease-specific survival than those who did not (37) (p = 0.004), and those with a smoking history (23) had a significantly shorter survival than non-smokers (19) (p = 0.038). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that both partial nephrectomy and enucleation are acceptable approaches to renal cell carcinoma in select cases, with survival rates that closely approximate those found in radical nephrectomy series. Renal carcinomas that are peripherally located and small in diameter (< or = 5 cm) are most appropriate for these procedures, and given the excellent results noted to date, the expanded use of these approaches to include very young patients and those with any disease process that may affect renal function is warranted. A positive surgical margin is an ominous pathologic finding and should be avoided by frozen section biopsy at surgery or possibly intraoperative ultrasonography. Additionally, smokers with renal cell carcinoma have a poorer disease-specific survival than non-smokers, further questioning a carcinogenic etiology in this disease.
Thrasher, JB; Robertson, JE; Paulson, DF
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