Partial nephrectomy for T1 renal cancer can achieve an equivalent oncological outcome to radical nephrectomy with better renal preservation: the way to go

Hong Kong Med J. 2016 Feb;22(1):39-45. doi: 10.12809/hkmj144482. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


Introduction: Patients who undergo partial nephrectomy have been shown to be at decreased risk of renal impairment compared with radical nephrectomy. We examined the oncological outcome of patients in our centre who underwent partial or radical nephrectomy for T1 renal cancer (7 cm or smaller), and compared the likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease.

Methods: This historical cohort study with internal comparison was conducted in a tertiary hospital in Hong Kong. A cohort of 86 patients with solitary T1 renal cancer and a normal contralateral kidney who underwent radical (38 patients) or partial (48 patients) nephrectomy between January 2005 and December 2010 was included. The overall and cancer-free survival, change in glomerular filtration rate, and new onset of chronic kidney disease were compared between the radical and partial nephrectomy groups.

Results: A total of 32 (84%) radical nephrectomy patients and 43 (90%) partial nephrectomy patients were alive by 31 December 2012. The mean follow-up was 43.5 (standard deviation, 22.4) months. There was no significant difference in overall survival (P=0.29) or cancer-free survival (P=0.29) between the two groups. Both groups enjoyed good oncological outcome with no recurrence in the partial nephrectomy group. Overall, 18 (21%) patients had pre-existing chronic kidney disease. The partial nephrectomy group had a significantly smaller median reduction in glomerular filtration rate (12.6% vs 35.4%; P<0.001), and radical nephrectomy carried a significantly higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease (hazard ratio=5.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.26-23.55; P=0.02).

Conclusions: Compared with radical nephrectomy, partial nephrectomy can prevent chronic kidney disease and still achieve an excellent oncological outcome for T1 renal tumours, in particular T1a tumours and tumours with a low R.E.N.A.L. score.

Keywords: Kidney neoplasms; Nephrectomy/methods; Treatment outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nephrectomy* / adverse effects
  • Nephrectomy* / methods
  • Nephrectomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Organ Sparing Treatments* / adverse effects
  • Organ Sparing Treatments* / methods
  • Organ Sparing Treatments* / statistics & numerical data
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Postoperative Complications* / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications* / etiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / etiology
  • Survival Analysis