STOCKHOLM—Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can provide durable oncologic control in patients with biopsy-proven renal cell carcinoma (RCC), according to study findings presented at the European Association of Urology 29th annual congress.

In a study of 90 patients with a median age of 69.5 years who underwent RFA for biopsy-proven small RCC tumors, investigators observed local tumor recurrence in only 1 patient after a median follow-up of 55 months. Five patients (5.5%) died of cancer-related causes and 7 (7.7%) died from non-cancerous causes. Tumor size was not associated with a higher risk of death.

The study, led by Steven Joniau, MD, of University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, showed that the only variables associated with decreased overall survival were age at RFA and preoperative chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage.

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Dr. Joniau’s group concluded in their poster presentation that RFA “may be a valid treatment approach, especially in poor surgical candidates. Elderly patients or patients with renal function impairment … at diagnosis have a considerable risk of dying within 5 years of non-cancer related causes and may be spared treatment.”

In the study cohort, 45 patients had tumors smaller than 30 mm and 45 had tumors 30 mm or larger. The median tumor size was 29.5 mm. In addition, 55 patients had no preoperative CKD. Ten had CKD stage 2, 13 had CKD stage 3, and 2 had CKD stage 4 preoperatively. CKD status was not available for 10 patients.