FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Active Surveillance for Small Renal Masses: When Less is More
Eur Urol Focus. 2016 Dec 15;2(6) :660-668
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CONTEXT: A marked increase in incidentally detected small renal masses (SRMs) has occurred over the past decade. Active surveillance (AS) has emerged as an initial management option for these patients. OBJECTIVE: (1) To determine selection criteria, assess appropriate imaging modalities and surveillance frequencies, and define triggers for delayed intervention (DI) for patients on AS. (2) To describe oncologic outcomes for patients on AS protocols. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The PubMed database was queried for English language articles using the keywords "surveillance" and "renal mass" or "renal cell carcinoma" or "kidney cancer." The level of evidence, sample size, study design, and relevance to the review were considered as inclusion criteria. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of 69 manuscripts were included in the review. Selection criteria at initial evaluation for patients interested in AS include patient-related factors (eg, age, baseline renal function, other comorbidities), tumor-related factors (size, complexity, history of growth, possible renal mass biopsy), and patient preferences (illness uncertainty, quality of life). Cross-sectional imaging is the preferred initial imaging modality. Surveillance imaging should be performed at frequent intervals (3-4 mo) up front; intervals can be reduced over time if favorable growth kinetics are demonstrated. Delayed intervention (DI) should be considered for rapid tumor growth (eg,>0.5cm/yr), an increase in maximum tumor diameter >3-4cm, malignant renal mass biopsy results, development of symptoms, or patient preferences. Oncologic outcomes in well-controlled studies demonstrate a metastatic rate of 1-2%. Most patients who undergo DI remain eligible for nephron-sparing approaches; oncologic outcomes are not compromised by DI strategies. CONCLUSIONS: A period of initial AS is safe for most patients with SRMs. Management decisions should focus on a thorough assessment of risk-benefit trade-offs, judiciously integrating patient-related factors, tumor-related factors, and patient preferences. PATIENT SUMMARY: A period of initial active surveillance for kidney masses of </=4cm in diameter is safe in most patients. Frequent imaging and follow-up are necessary to determine if the tumor grows. If delayed intervention becomes necessary, cancer outcomes are not compromised by the initial choice of active surveillance when patients adhere to close follow-up regimens.
2405-4569 Ristau, Benjamin T Kutikov, Alexander Uzzo, Robert G Smaldone, Marc C Journal Article Review Netherlands Eur Urol Focus. 2016 Dec 15;2(6):660-668. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2017.04.004. Epub 2017 Apr 19.