When biopsying SRMs, 25% are benign while the rest are malignant. Out of the malignant masses, about 40% are high grade malignancy, with the rest being low grade malignancy or indolent malignancy. Therefore, almost 30% of SRMs<3cm are with high grade malignancy and 70% are benign or with low grade malignancy (Figure 1).
Figure 1 – 3 cm mass renal biopsy outcomes:
When assessing treatment outcomes of SRMs, we need to examine oncologic outcomes, renal function, complications, and whether the therapeutic modality is truly minimally invasive. When looking at oncologic outcomes (metastasis free survival) of clinical stage T1a, no difference was seen between partial nephrectomy (PN) and cryotherapy, although a small difference was seen between PN and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). A study by Pierorazio  compared cancer specific survival (CSS), metastasis free survival (MFS) and recurrence free survival (RFS) between PN and ablative techniques, showing small differences in favor of PN (Table 1).
Table 1 – Oncologic outcomes of SRM treatment:
Thermal ablation has a clear advantage with regards to a significantly lower % change in renal parenchymal volume compared to PN. Additionally, the % of complications is significantly lower with ablative techniques, compared to PN (Table 2). In the end, ablative modalities reach all the goals of treatment including oncologic outcomes, preservation of renal function, minimum complications and being minimally invasive.
Table 2 – Complications:
In conclusion, according to Landman, SRM biopsy needs to be done to match the standards of all other surgical specialties. We need to move to a disease specific standard of care. Lastly, we need to embrace disease specific treatment strategies and thoughtful application of minimally invasive modalities like percutaneous ablation.
Presented by: Jaime Landman, MD Irvine, California
1. Pierorazio P, et al. J Urol 2016 May; 195(4)
Written by: Hanan Goldberg, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow (SUO), University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre @GoldbergHanan at the 2018 AUA Annual Meeting - May 18 - 21, 2018 – San Francisco, CA USA
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Controversies in Urology: Kidney Cancer – Treatment with Thermal Ablation – PRO Rebuttal
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Controversies in Urology: Kidney Cancer – Treatment with Thermal Ablation – CON
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Controversies in Urology: Kidney Cancer – Treatment with Thermal Ablation – CON Rebuttal