A study published in European Urology presents retrospective data from the Mayo Clinic in America regarding their experience with partial nephrectomy, percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and percutaneous cryoablation for small renal masses (less than 4 cm, stage cT1).
Long-term follow-up data from 1798 patients with primary cT1N0M0 renal tumours were treated with partial nephrectomy, RFA or cryoablation between 2000 and 2011. Five-year survival rates for patients with cT1a tumours were 99%, 96%, and 100% for partial nephrectomy, RFA, and cryoablation, respectively.
The researchers concluded that although these data are retrospective and subject to selection bias, percutaneous ablation appears successful in the treatment of small renal masses (cT1a) and is appropriate for patients who are not able to have surgery. Ablation of larger tumours results in a higher rate of cancer-specific death compared with partial nephrectomy.