Mayo Clinic finds surgeon caseload, practice setting affect treatment of small kidney tumors

Patients with small kidney tumors are more likely to be offered treatment options based on surgeons' case volume and type of practice than on tumor characteristics, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Fellowship-trained surgeons who practice in academic medical centers with high volumes of patients with kidney tumors were 70 to 80 percent more likely to follow American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines by recommending partial nephrectomy. Surgeons in private practice who see few patients with kidney tumors more often offered radical nephrectomy: removal of the entire kidney.

Mayo Clinic researchers presented their findings during the AUA Annual Meeting in Washington.

"There is wide variability in how renal masses are managed. We must recognize these discrepancies may be due to different perceptions of technical feasibility in performing a partial nephrectomy," says Christopher Weight, M.D., of Mayo Clinic's Department of Urology. "What we're encouraging is a discussion between physicians and patients about all options available. Some patients may benefit from a referral to surgeons with more experience with renal tumors."

The study shows that as get larger and more complex, all tend to offer a radical nephrectomy. However, the tumor complexity that may result in one surgeon recommending total removal of the kidney may be well below a more experienced surgeon's threshold. Approximately 45,000 Americans require radical or partial nephrectomy each year.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How less can be more when treating some kidney cancers

Jan 09, 2008

A new Mayo Clinic study suggests that removing the entire kidney from younger patients with small kidney tumors may lead to decreased overall survival compared with an operation that removes the tumor but leaves the kidney ...

Recommended for you

Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer

17 hours ago

The five-year survival rate for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer was higher than national levels in a small study at a single academic center performing a high rate of surgical therapy, including a total laryngectomy (removal ...

Gene test aids cancer profile

Nov 27, 2014

The first round of chemotherapy did little to suppress Ron Bose's leukemia. The second round, with 10 times the dose, knocked the proliferating blast cells down, but only by half.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.