The time from diagnosis of a kidney tumour to removal of the tumour during surgery can be very worrying for patients and clinicians due to fears that the tumour will grow and spread while waiting for treatment. This study investigated whether there was any link between the time waiting for surgery and outcomes for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
1,769 kidney cancer patients from Canada were included in the study. Patients had stage T1b or greater RCC and were diagnosed over a period of 8 years from January 2011 to December 2019. The outcomes measured were an increase in stage of the cancer, recurrence of the cancer, cancer-specific survival, and overall survival.
Median waiting times for surgery were 54 days for all patients in the study. Patients with T1b tumours waited a median of 81 days, 45 days for T2 tumours and 35 days for T3/4 tumours.
Accounting for the presence of other diseases (comorbidities), tumour size, tumour grade, subtype of RCC, the size of the margin removed with the tumour during surgery, and the stage of the cancer, the researchers concluded that there was no association between prolonged waiting times for surgery and cancer recurrence or death. Waiting times up to 24 weeks for surgery were not associated with adverse cancer outcomes after 2 years of follow-up.