Increasing comorbidity burden is associated with diminishing survival among patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), investigators reported at the virtual 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

In a study of a nationwide registry-based cohort of 7894 patients aged 18 years or older diagnosed with RCC in Denmark, Lars Lund, MD, of Odense University Hospital in Odense, Denmark, and colleagues examined overall survival according to comorbidity status using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) among patients younger than 70 years and aged 70 years and older. The investigators followed patients’ vital status for up to 13 years.

At the time of RCC diagnosis, 36% of patients had a registered comorbidity. For patients without comorbidities diagnosed in 2006-2008 and 2015-2017, the 5-year survival rate increased from 57% to 69%, Dr Lund’s team reported. The 5-year survival rate rose from 46% to 62% among patients with a CCI score of 1-2 and from 39% to 44% among those with a CCI score of 3.

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In age- and gender-stratified analyses, patients with a CCI score of 1-2 and 3 or more had significant 15% and 56% increased mortality risks, respectively, compared with patients who had no comorbidities, Dr Lund and colleagues noted. The investigators observed similar patterns among patients aged 70 year or older and younger than 70 years.

“Comorbidity leads to inferior survival outcomes with renal cell carcinoma, irrespective of age, despite an overall increasing survival,” the authors concluded in the study abstract. “These data may guide patient counseling and prompt initiatives for controlling comorbidity.”


Horsbøl TA, Dalton SO, Christensen J, et al. Impact of comorbidity burden on renal cell carcinoma prognosis: A Danish nationwide cohort study. Presented at the virtual 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, February 11 to 13. Abstract 360.