To investigate the long-term oncological efficacy of renal cryoablation (CA) of small renal tumors.
A review of patients treated with CA for a biopsy confirmed renal cell carcinoma less than 4 cm in diameter. All patients were identified from a prospectively maintained clinical database. Treatment efficacy was computed using the Kaplan-Meier method to estimate disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival rates (OS).
A total of 179 patients (116 men and 63 women) with a mean age of 64 years (95% CI = 63 - 66) were included in the analysis. Mean tumor size was 27 mm (95% CI = 25.5-28.0) with a low, moderate and high PADUA complexity score in 30.2%, 44.7% and 16.2% of the cases, respectively. A total of 19 patients (11%) were diagnosed with residual unablated tumor, six patients (3%) were diagnosed with late local recurrence and six patients (3%) were diagnosed with metastatic disease. The estimated 5 years image confirmed the DFS rate was 79% (95% CI = 70-85). The estimated 5- and 10-year OS rates were 82% (95% CI = 75-87) and 61% (95% CI = 48-71), respectively. During the 10-year follow-up period a total of five patients (3%) died due to renal cancer, while 46 patients (26%) died from other causes.
CA appears to be an effective treatment modality for patients with small renal tumors. The present study demonstrated low rates of local recurrence and disease progression with excellent long-term cancer-specific survival.