Large Renal Masses Grow Faster than Small Ones

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Renal masses greater than 4 cm in diameter tend to grow faster than smaller ones, a researcher reported at the American Urological Association 2011 annual meeting.

The researcher, Naji Touma, MD, of Queen's University in Kingston Ont., led a study of 53 patients with renal masses and who were either too inform to undergo surgery or declined any intervention or clinical trial involvement. At the time of initial presentation, 11 patients had masses larger 4 cm and 42 had masses smaller than 4 cm. Patients had a media age of 75 years and a median follow-up of 40.2 months.

Dr. Touma's group found that masses larger than 4 cm grow at a rate of 1.06 cm per year compared with 0.28 cm per year for masses smaller than 4 cm. The overall survival rate was lower in the patients with larger renal masses (54.5% vs. 83%). Patients with masses larger than 4 cm were four times more likely to die than patients with smaller masses.

Clinicians need to be careful about managing masses larger than 4 cm conservatively, Dr. Touma said.

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