A recent study reported in European Urology by investigators at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA compared partial nephrectomy with percutaneous ablation (radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation) in the treatment of 1422 patients with localised renal tumours, stage cT1. Patients were followed for at least 6 years.

There were no significant differences in local recurrence, metastases and cancer-related death between partial nephrectomy and ablation. 5-year local recurrence-free survival rates were 97.7%, 95.9%, and 95.9% for partial nephrectomy, radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation , respectively. The 5-year metastasis-free survival rates were 98%, 93.9%, and 100%, and 5-year cancer-specific survival rates were 99%, 96%, and 100%, respectively.

They concluded that percutaneous ablation for localised renal tumours is an appropriate treatment option for patients who are not able to have surgery; however, additional follow-up and further study are still needed.

Read more in European Urology here