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Article of the Week: Partial versus Radical Nephrectomy for T1 renal tumour

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature a video from Dr. Marios Hadjipavlou, discussing his paper. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Partial versus Radical Nephrectomy for T1 renal tumours: An analysis from the British Association of Urological Surgeons Nephrectomy Audit

Marios Hadjipavlou, Fahd Khan, Sarah Fowler*, Adrian Joyce, Francis X. Keeley‡, Seshadri Sriprasad and on behalf of BAUS Sections of Endourology and Oncology

 

Department of Urology, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford Kent, *British Association of Urological Surgeons, London, Department of Urology, St Jamess University Hospital, Leeds, and Bristol Urological Institute, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK

 

OBJECTIVES

To analyse and compare data from the British Association of Urological Surgeons Nephrectomy Audit for perioperative outcomes of partial (PN) and radical nephrectomy (RN) for T1 renal tumours.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

UK consultants were invited to submit data on all patients undergoing nephrectomy between 1 January and 31 December 2012 to a nationally established database using a standard pro forma. Analysis was made on patient demographics, operative technique, and perioperative data/outcome between PN and RN for T1 tumours.

RESULTS

Overall, data from 6 042 nephrectomies were reported of which 1 768 were performed for T1 renal tumours. Of these, 1 082 (61.2%) were RNs and 686 (38.8%) were PNs. The mean age of patients undergoing PN was lower (PN 59 years vs RN 64 years; P < 0.001) and so was the WHO performance score (PN 0.4 vs RN 0.7; P < 0.001). PN for the treatment of T1a tumours (≤4 cm) accounted for 55.6% of procedures, of which 43.9% were performed using a minimally invasive technique. For T1b tumours (4–7 cm), 18.9% of patients underwent PN, in 33.3% of which a minimally invasive technique was adopted. The vast majority of RNs for T1 tumours were performed using a minimally invasive technique (90.3%). Of the laparoscopic PNs, 30.5% were robot-assisted. There was no significant difference in overall intraoperative complications between the RN and PN groups (4% vs 4.3%; P = 0.79). However, PN accounted for a higher overall postoperative complications rate (RN 11.3% vs PN 17.6%; P < 0.001). RN was associated with a markedly reduced risk of severe surgical complications (Clavien Dindo classification grade ≥3) compared with PN even after adjusting for technique (odds ratio 0.30; P = 0.002). Operation time between RN and PN was comparable (141 vs 145 min; P = 0.25). Blood loss was less in the RN group (mean for RN 165 vs PN 323 mL; P < 0.001); however, transfusion rates were similar (3.2% vs 2.6%; P = 0.47). RN was associated with a shorter length of stay (median 4 vs 5 days; P < 0.001). A direct comparison between robot-assisted and laparoscopic PN showed no significant differences in operation time, blood loss, warm ischaemia time, and intraoperative and postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS

PN was the method of choice for treatment of T1a tumours whereas RN was preferred for T1b tumours. Minimally invasive techniques have been widely adopted for RN but not for PN. Despite the advances in surgical technique, a substantial risk of postoperative complications remains with PN.

Editorial: Minimally invasive surgery or nephron preservation for small renal tumours?

In the present issue of BJUI, there is an important study by Hadjipavlou et al. [1], summarizing radical (RN) and partial nephrectomy (PN) practice in the UK in 2012. Specifically, the authors reported the outcomes of ~1 800 patients undergoing either RN or PN for clinical T1 renal masses. Approximately 55% of the patients with cT1a tumours underwent PN, of whom 44% underwent minimally invasive PN. Conversely, in the cohort of patients with cT1b tumours, only ~19% received PN, of whom 33% underwent a minimally invasive procedure. Notably, whereas operating time, transfusion rate and the risk of intraoperative complications was similar for RN and PN, postoperative complications were approximately three times more common in patients who underwent PN, after adjusting for covariates. A sub-analysis comparing robot-assisted and laparoscopic PN failed to show any difference in peri-operative outcomes [1].

The study is important for several reasons. Firstly, it shows a fairly high adoption of PN for cT1a tumours. Although PN is recommended as the standard treatment for small renal masses [2], population-based studies have shown that there has been limited adoption of PN outside referral centres [3, 4], especially in the USA. Conversely, the present data from UK show more encouraging results, maximizing the benefit of nephron preservation; however, although PN might be more challenging in cT1b tumours and the available evidence in favour of PN in such a setting is less compelling, the adoption of PN was lower in such tumours. Efforts should be made to popularize such an approach whenever feasible.

Secondly, the study showed that a minority of the PN procedures were performed with a minimally invasive approach. Although we can agree that nephron preservation is more important than a minimally invasive approach in the long term for most patients, an increasing number of publications and growing clinical experience suggest that laparoscopic, and, above all, robot-assisted PN could represent the ideal solution. Although the number of minimally invasive PNs should increase with increased diffusion of DaVinci platforms, major efforts should be made to expand the number of patients in whom the morbidity of the traditional open PN approach can be avoided. In this context, regionalization of care for PN, as for other major oncological procedures, could be an excellent solution.

Thirdly, the significant rise in the risk of postoperative complications observed after PN could allow better selection of patients to undergo either PN or RN. For example, where surgery is indicated, frail comorbid patients, in whom the risk of perioperative complications should be minimized and who would benefit less from nephron preservation, could be better treated by laparoscopic RN or, probably, robot-assisted PN as performed by very experienced surgeons.

Finally, the study failed to show major differences between laparoscopic and robot-assisted PN. Although this finding is in line with data from systematic reviews of the literature [5], the present data from a large cohort of surgeons are more solid. The lack of data on patient selection, previous laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgery, annual surgical volume and tumour characteristics according to nephrometry scores, however, does not allow us to draw definitive conclusions on the issue. In our opinion, robot-assisted surgery might offer major significant benefits during PN in terms of quicker and more accurate tumour dissection, improved renorrhaphy with consequent shorter ischaemia time, lower risk of complications and a shorter learning curve as compared with pure laparoscopic PN.

Unfortunately, no analysis stratified by centre and/or surgeon volume was provided in the present paper. As with other major surgical procedures, some studies suggest that case volume may have a major impact on outcome [6]. It would have been interesting to see such a relationship analysed in the present cohort involving almost 300 surgeons from more than 100 institutions. Despite the large number of cases analysed, however, it is likely that these data depict the outcomes of RN and PN in a low-volume setting (an average of approximately six cases per year in total).

Finally, alternative approaches such as percutaneous or laparoscopic cryoablation are gaining popularity for the treatment of small renal masses in selected cases [2]. Although long-term oncological outcomes of such procedures are lacking, the available evidence suggests good short-term efficacy and safety for cryoablation in patients with small renal masses. The presence of data on such treatments to compare with the surgery results reported in the present cohort would also have been of interest.

Giacomo Novara, and Alexander Mottrie†‡

 

Department of Surgery, Oncology, and Gastroenterology, Urology Clinic, University of Padua, Padua, Italy, †Department of Urology, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital and OLV Vattikuti Robotic Surgery Institute, Aalst, Belgium

 

References

 

1 Hadjipavlou M, Khan F, Fowler S, Joyce A, Keeley FX, Sriprasad S on behalf of BAUS Sections of Endourology & Oncology. Partial versus radical nephrectomy for T1 renal tumours: an analysis from the british association of urological surgeons nephrectomy audit. BJU Int 2015; 117:6271
2 Ljungberg B, Bensalah K, Caneld S et al. EAU Guidelines on Renal Cell Carcinoma: 2014 Update. Eur Urol 2015; 67: 91324

 

 

4 Fedeli U, Novara G, Alba N, Ficarra V, Artibani W, Spolaore PTrends from 1999 to 2007 in the surgical treatments of kidney cancer in Europe: data from the Veneto Region, Italy. BJU Int 2010; 105: 12559

 

5 Aboumarzouk OM, Stein RJ, Eyraud R et al. Robotic versus laparoscopic partial nephrectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Urol 2012; 62: 102333

 

6 Peyronnet B, Couapel JP, Patard JJ, Bensalah K. Relationship between surgical volume and outcomes in nephron-sparing surgery. Curr Opin Urol 2014; 24: 4538

 

Video: T1 renal tumours: Partial versus Radical Nephrectomy

Partial versus Radical Nephrectomy for T1 renal tumours: An analysis from the British Association of Urological Surgeons Nephrectomy Audit

Marios Hadjipavlou, Fahd Khan, Sarah Fowler*, Adrian Joyce, Francis X. Keeley‡, Seshadri Sriprasad and on behalf of BAUS Sections of Endourology and Oncology

 

Department of Urology, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford Kent, *British Association of Urological Surgeons, London, Department of Urology, St Jamess University Hospital, Leeds, and Bristol Urological Institute, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK

 

OBJECTIVES

To analyse and compare data from the British Association of Urological Surgeons Nephrectomy Audit for perioperative outcomes of partial (PN) and radical nephrectomy (RN) for T1 renal tumours.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

UK consultants were invited to submit data on all patients undergoing nephrectomy between 1 January and 31 December 2012 to a nationally established database using a standard pro forma. Analysis was made on patient demographics, operative technique, and perioperative data/outcome between PN and RN for T1 tumours.

RESULTS

Overall, data from 6 042 nephrectomies were reported of which 1 768 were performed for T1 renal tumours. Of these, 1 082 (61.2%) were RNs and 686 (38.8%) were PNs. The mean age of patients undergoing PN was lower (PN 59 years vs RN 64 years; P < 0.001) and so was the WHO performance score (PN 0.4 vs RN 0.7; P < 0.001). PN for the treatment of T1a tumours (≤4 cm) accounted for 55.6% of procedures, of which 43.9% were performed using a minimally invasive technique. For T1b tumours (4–7 cm), 18.9% of patients underwent PN, in 33.3% of which a minimally invasive technique was adopted. The vast majority of RNs for T1 tumours were performed using a minimally invasive technique (90.3%). Of the laparoscopic PNs, 30.5% were robot-assisted. There was no significant difference in overall intraoperative complications between the RN and PN groups (4% vs 4.3%; P = 0.79). However, PN accounted for a higher overall postoperative complications rate (RN 11.3% vs PN 17.6%; P < 0.001). RN was associated with a markedly reduced risk of severe surgical complications (Clavien Dindo classification grade ≥3) compared with PN even after adjusting for technique (odds ratio 0.30; P = 0.002). Operation time between RN and PN was comparable (141 vs 145 min; P = 0.25). Blood loss was less in the RN group (mean for RN 165 vs PN 323 mL; P < 0.001); however, transfusion rates were similar (3.2% vs 2.6%; P = 0.47). RN was associated with a shorter length of stay (median 4 vs 5 days; P < 0.001). A direct comparison between robot-assisted and laparoscopic PN showed no significant differences in operation time, blood loss, warm ischaemia time, and intraoperative and postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS

PN was the method of choice for treatment of T1a tumours whereas RN was preferred for T1b tumours. Minimally invasive techniques have been widely adopted for RN but not for PN. Despite the advances in surgical technique, a substantial risk of postoperative complications remains with PN.

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