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A recent study published at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) concluded that active surveillance is a safe and long lasting management strategy for some patients with small renal masses, which are suspected to be stage T1a (≤4 cm) renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
The researchers found the cancer-specific survival rate to be excellent and comparable in the people who had active surveillance and those who had treatment (usually surgery). However, overall survival was found to be worse in the active surveillance group.
Currently, active surveillance remains under used as an alternative option to treatment, and used in only 10-20% of eligible patients. The lack of strong, prospective data regarding this strategy is cause for such underutilisation.