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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2015 June;67(2):149-56

language: English

Role of partial nephrectomy as cytoreduction in the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma

Karam J. A. 1, Babaian K. N. 1, Tannir N. M. 2, Matin S. F. 1, Wood C. G. 1

1 Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA;
2 Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA


In this review, we describe the role, feasibility and safety of partial nephrectomy in the setting of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Partial nephrectomy is currently the preferred therapeutic modality in patients with localized renal tumors, while radical cytoreductive nephrectomy is the standard of care for appropriately selected patients with metastatic disease. Several studies have shown the prognostic value of percentage tumor removed when cytoreductive nephrectomy is done. This concept of percentage tumor removal and the associated benefit should also be applied when considering patients for cytoreductive partial nephrectomy; however, the potential adverse events after partial nephrectomy should be kept in mind, as these, when they occur, could delay time to starting systemic therapy. Several small retrospective studies have shown the feasibility of this approach in carefully selected patient groups. In well-selected patients with metastatic disease and primary tumors that are amenable to nephron sparing approaches, partial nephrectomy could offer an alternative to radical nephrectomy, with manageable adverse events, and good renal functional outcomes. Preserving renal function in this population could allow these patients to participate in clinical trial that they otherwise might not qualify for.

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