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A recent study, published in the journal Urology this month, compares outcomes for patients with early stage T1b renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following treatment with microwave ablation, partial nephrectomy or radical nephrectomy.
The study included a total of 325 patients; 40 underwent microwave ablation, 74 had partial nephrectomy and 211 had radical nephrectomy.
Length of hospitalisation was shorter for the patients who had microwave ablation compared to surgical patients (1 day vs. 4 days).
Kidney function (glomerular filtration rate) decreased significantly more for those patients who had radical nephrectomy (29%) compared to those who had microwave ablation (4.5%) or partial nephrectomy (3.2%).
There was no difference in 5-year metastasis free survival or cancer specific survival between microwave ablation and surgery.
This study showed that microwave ablation is a feasible alternative to surgery in patients with early stage T1b RCC and other medical conditions.