• competing-risk analyses;
  • partial nephrectomy;
  • renal cell carcinoma and T1b


To examine utilization rates of partial nephrectomy relative to radical nephrectomy for T1b renal cell carcinoma in contemporary years, to identify sociodemographic and disease characteristics associated with partial nephrectomy use, and to compare effectiveness of partial versus radical nephrectomy with respect to cancer control.


Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, 16 333 patients treated with partial or radical nephrectomy for T1bN0M0 renal cell carcinoma between 1988 and 2008 were identified. Logistic regression models were carried out to identify determinants of partial nephrectomy. Subsequently, cumulative incidence rates of cancer-specific and other-cause mortality between partial and radical nephrectomy were assessed, within the matched cohort. Furthermore, competing-risks regression analyses were used for prediction of cancer-specific mortality, after adjusting for other-cause mortality, and vice versa.


The utilization rate of partial nephrectomy increased from 1.2% in 1988 to 15.9% in 2008 (P < 0.001). Younger individuals, smaller tumors, persons of black race, as well as men, were more likely to be treated with partial nephrectomy in the current cohort (all P ≤ 0.002). In the post-propensity cohort, the 5- and 10-year cancer-specific mortality rates were 4.4 and 6.1% for partial versus 6.0 and 10.4% for radical nephrectomy, respectively (P = 0.03). Competing-risks regression analyses showed that nephrectomy type was not statistically significantly associated with cancer-specific mortality, even after adjusting for other-cause mortality (hazard ratio 0.89, P = 0.5).


Despite providing a comparable cancer control, the use of partial over radical nephrectomy for T1b renal cell carcinoma in USA has remained limited in recent years.