To systematically review studies focused on screening programs for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and provide an exhaustive overview on their clinical impact, potential benefits, and harms.
A systematic review of the recent English-language literature was conducted according to the European Association of Urology guidelines and the PRISMA statement recommendations (PROSPERO ID: CRD42021283136) using the MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and databases. Risk-of-bias assessment was performed according to the QUality In Prognosis Studies (QUIPS) tool.
Overall, nine studies and one clinical trials were included. Eight studies reported results from RCC screening programs involving a total of 159 136 patients and four studies reported screening cost-analysis. The prevalence of RCC ranged between 0.02 and 0.22% and it was associated with the socio-demographic characteristics of the subjects; selection of the target population decreased, overall, the screening cost per diagnosis.
Despite an increasing interest in RCC screening programs from patients and clinicians there is a relative lack of studies reporting the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and the optimal modality for RCC screening. Targeting high-risk individuals and/or combining detection of RCC with other health checks represent pragmatic options to improve the cost-effectiveness and reduce the potential harms of RCC screening.

© 2022. The Author(s).