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Most patients with small renal masses can be monitored safely without having treatment. However, in some people their tumours are aggressive. These people would benefit from early treatment.
This study was looking for biomarkers that could predict outcomes in people with aggressive small renal masses. There were 1576 patients in the study whose small renal mass was found to be cancer. Of these, the cancer spread to other organs or tissues (metastasised) in 37 people. Increased tumour size was associated with the development of metastases. Also, a protein called BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1) was associated with metastases. This protein could be found in a biopsy.
This study identifies BAP1 status as a potential novel biomarker of aggressive disease in people with small renal masses.