A new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology confirms that image-guided percutaneous cryoablation is a safe and efficacious treatment for selected small renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tumours.
Cryoablation is a non-invasive technique, which involves ‘freezing’ the tumour using fine needles inserted through the skin (percutaneous). This technique has not yet been widely adopted in the UK. The current study investigated the safety, technical results and clinical outcomes of using percutaneous cryoablation for the treatment of 185 early stage (T1) tumours in 180 patients at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
All tumours were diagnosed following a biopsy. Of the 185 tumours, 168 were diagnosed as cT1a tumours (90.8%) and 17 as cT1b tumours (9.2%). The mean size of the tumours was 28.5 mm (range 11 to 58 mm).
Percutaneous cryoablation was technically successful in 183 (98.9%) of 185 cases. Some tumour was left unablated in 4 (2.2%) of 183 tumours. Progression-free survival at 3 and 5 years was 98.3% and 94.9%, respectively and none of the patients developed metastatic RCC or died from RCC.
Kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR) was unaffected by the procedure up to 2 years after cryoablation.
In conclusion, “image-guided cryoablation offers a promising treatment option for cT1 RCC, offering long-term oncologic outcomes that rival more invasive methods with the benefit of an improved safety profile.”