Most patients diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) do not undergo renal mass biopsy (RMB) prior to surgery, but most who undergo ablation or systemic therapy do, researchers reported in Urology (2014;83:774-780).

In a study of 24,702 patients diagnosed with RCC from 1992-2007, John T. Leppert, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues documented a steady and modest rise in RMB use, with the greatest use in the final study year. Among the patients who underwent radical or partial nephectomy, 17% and 20%, respectively, underwent RMB in advance of surgery.

In addition, 65% of patients who underwent ablation underwent RMB before or in conjunction with the procedure. And just over half (50.4%) of those who received systemic therapy alone underwent RMB.

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Factors associated with RMB use included younger age, black race, Hispanic ethnicity, a tumor size smaller than 7 cm, and metastatic disease at presentation.