To compare the intermediate-term outcomes of patients with clinical T1a renal tumours who were treated with nephron-sparing surgery by partial nephrectomy (PN), the preferred approach for small (cT1a) renal tumours, or radiofrequency ablation (RFA), recently offered to selected patients as an alternative, less morbid technique.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We identified patients with stage T1a renal masses who had ≥ 2 years of follow-up; those with bilateral synchronous or metachronous tumours, metastatic disease at presentation, or a family history of renal cell carcinoma were excluded. From July 1996 to January 2004 110 PNs were identified in our database; 37 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria had either open (30) or laparoscopic PN (seven) and 40 had either percutaneous (26) or laparoscopic (14) RFA.
The mean (range) follow-up for the RFA and PN groups was 30 (18–42) and 47 (24–93) months, respectively; the respective mean tumour size was 2.41 and 2.43 cm. There was one incomplete ablation and two local recurrences in the RFA group, and two recurrences in the PN group (one local and one in the contralateral kidney). There were no disease-specific deaths. The overall actuarial disease-free probability for the PN and RFA groups, respectively, was 95.8% and 93.4% (P = 0.67).
This initial 3-year actuarial analysis showed that RFA for cT1a renal tumours has comparable oncological outcomes to PN; however, longer term data are still needed.