Clinicopathological features and prognosis of synchronous bilateral renal cell carcinoma: an international multicentre experience


Allan J. Pantuck, Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Room B7–298 A CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90025–1738, USA.


An interesting group of papers in this section is headed by two papers on synchronous bilateral renal tumours, one from an international group of authors and one from Germany. The large series of patients are examined carefully by both groups, and the findings should be useful for all who are interested in this area.

Authors from the UK examine the role of lactate dehydrogenase as a prognostic factor for testicular cancer. They found that it had limited sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value for detecting relapse, with false-positive elevations being common.


To present a multicentre experience and the largest cohort to date of nonmetastatic (N0M0) synchronous bilateral renal cell carcinoma (RCC), as because it is rare the single-institutional experience is limited.


We retrospectively studied 10 337 patients from 12 urological centres to identify patients with N0M0 synchronous bilateral RCC; the clinicopathological features and cancer-specific survival were compared to a cohort treated for N0M0 unilateral RCC.


In all, 153 patients had synchronous bilateral solid renal tumours, of whom 135 (88%) had synchronous bilateral RCC, 118 with nonmetastatic disease; 91% had nonfamilial bilateral RCC. Bilateral clear cell RCC was the major histological subtype (76%), and papillary RCC was the next most frequent (19%). Multifocality was found in 54% of bilateral RCCs. Compared with unilateral RCC, patients did not differ in Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) and T classification, but bilateral RCCs were more frequently multifocal (54% vs 16%, P < 0.001) and of the papillary subtype (19% vs 12%), and less frequently clear cell RCC (76% vs 83%, P = 0.005). For the outcome, patients with nonmetastatic synchronous bilateral RCC and unilateral RCC had a similar prognosis (P = 0.63); multifocality did not affect survival (P = 0.60). Multivariate analysis identified ECOG PS, T classification, and Fuhrman grade, but not laterality, as independent prognostic factors for cancer-specific survival.


Patients with N0M0 synchronous bilateral RCC and N0M0 unilateral RCC have a similar prognosis. The frequency of a familial history for RCC (von Hippel-Lindau disease or familial RCC) was significantly greater in bilateral synchronous than in unilateral RCC. The significant pathological findings in synchronous bilateral RCC are papillary subtype and multifocality.