Radio frequency ablation versus partial nephrectomy for clinical T1b renal cell carcinoma: long-term clinical and oncologic outcomes

J Urol. 2015 Feb;193(2):430-5. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2014.07.112. Epub 2014 Aug 5.


Purpose: We compared outcomes in patients treated with radio frequency ablation or partial nephrectomy for clinical cT1b renal cell carcinoma.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients who underwent radio frequency ablation or nephrectomy between February 2006 and December 2010. Radiographic followup with contrast imaging was performed 7 days, 3 and 6 months, and every 6 months thereafter after radio frequency ablation sequentially. The followup protocol for partial nephrectomy was every 6 months in the initial 3 years and annually thereafter. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to generate survival curves, which were compared with the log rank test. Multivariable regression analysis was done to determine predictors of survival.

Results: A total of 56 patients who met selection criteria were included in study. Patients in the radio frequency ablation group had relatively higher mean age and a higher mean ASA® score than those in the partial nephrectomy group. Mean tumor diameter was significantly larger in the partial nephrectomy cohort. For radio frequency ablation vs partial nephrectomy 5-year overall, cancer specific and disease-free survival was 85.5% (95% CI 72.2-98.8) vs 96.6% (95% CI 95.9-97.3), 92.6% (95% CI 82.4-98.1) vs 96.6% (95% CI 95.9-97.3) and 81.0% (95% CI 66.2-95.8) vs 89.7% (95% CI 78.5-97.9), respectively. The percent decrease in the glomerular filtration rate was significantly lower in the radio frequency ablation group at early and last followup.

Conclusions: In appropriately selected patients with stage cT1b renal cell carcinoma radio frequency ablation is an effective treatment option that provides 5-year overall, cancer specific and disease-free survival comparable to that of partial nephrectomy as well as better renal function preservation than partial nephrectomy.

Keywords: carcinoma; catheter ablation; kidney; mortality; nephrectomy; renal cell.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nephrectomy / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome