The results from a single-centre study reported in Clinical Genitourinary Cancer recently found that partial nephrectomy (nephron-sparing surgery) for localised renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may decrease the risk of cancer-specific mortality in some patients.

The study was conducted in 1767 patients who underwent either partial or radical nephrectomy for RCC at the University of Brescia in Italy. The researchers observed an inverse relationship between estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and cancer-specific mortality in patients with RCC that was confined to the kidney and whose eGFR decreases below 85 mL/min/1.73 m2. In this group of patients, each 10 mL/min/1.73 m2 decrease in eGFR was associated with a 27% increased risk of cancer-specific mortality. The study found no significant association between eGFR and cancer-specific mortality among patients with eGFR values above 85 mL/min/1.73 m2 or among those with stage III to IV RCC.

“The relationship found between eGFR and [cancer-specific mortality] indicates that renal function could exert an oncologic role in patients undergoing surgery for TNM stage I to II RCC,” the researchers concluded. “In such conditions, whenever feasible, nephron-sparing approaches should be preferred, unless extirpative surgery could equally warrant the preservation of renal function above specific limits.”

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