Local tumor ablation (LTA) for small renal masses offers a significant advantage over expectant management (EM) in terms of cancer-specific mortality, data presented at the Canadian Urological Association annual meeting in Ottawa suggest.

The 5-year cancer-specific mortality (CSM) rates were 3.5% for LTA and 9.1% for EM, investigator Vincent Trudeau, MD, a urology resident at the University of Montreal Health Centre reported. In multivariate competing risks analyses, LTA was associated with a significant 53% decreased risk of CSM compared with EM.

The study included 1,860 patients with cT1a kidney cancer treated with either LTA or expectant management from 2000 to 2009. Compared with EM patients, LTA patients were significantly younger (median age 77 vs. 78 years). The LTA group had a significantly greater proportion of Caucasians than the EM group (84% vs. 78%) and a significantly greater proportion of patients with high socio-economic status (54% vs. 45%).

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The investigators used propensity score matching to decrease potential measured differences between LTA and EM patients. After propensity score matching, 553 patients in each group remained for analyses.