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Partial nephrectomy versus ablative techniques for small renal masses: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

A new interesting article has been published in Eur Radiol. 2018 Sep 25. doi: 10.1007/s00330-018-5660-3. and titled:

Partial nephrectomy versus ablative techniques for small renal masses: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

Authors of this article are:
Uhlig J Strauss A Rücker G Seif Amir Hosseini A Lotz J Trojan L Kim HS Uhlig A.

A summary of the article is shown below:
PURPOSE: To compare partial nephrectomy (PN), radiofrequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation (CRA) and microwave ablation (MWA) regarding oncologic, perioperative and functional outcomes.MATERIAL AND METHODS: The MEDLINE, EMBASE and COCHRANE libraries were searched for studies comparing PN, RFA, CRA or MWA and reporting on any-cause or cancer-specific mortality, local recurrence, complications or renal function. Network meta-analyses were performed.RESULTS: Forty-seven studies with 24,077 patients were included. Patients receiving RFA, CRA or MWA were older and had more comorbidities compared with PN. All-cause mortality was higher for CRA and RFA compared with PN (incidence rate ratio IRR = 2.58, IRR = 2.58, p < 0.001, respectively). No significant differences in cancer-specific mortality were evident. Local recurrence was higher for CRA, RFA and MWA compared with PN (IRR = 4.13, IRR = 1.79, IRR = 2.52, p < 0.05 respectively). A decline in renal function was less pronounced after RFA versus PN, CRA and MWA (mean difference in GFR MD = 6.49; MD = 5.82; MD = 10.89, p < 0.05 respectively).CONCLUSION: Higher overall survival and local control of PN compared with ablative therapies did not translate into significantly better cancer-specific mortality. Most studies carried a high risk of bias by selecting younger and healthier patients for PN, which may drive superior survival and local control. Physicians should be aware of the lack of high-quality evidence and the potential benefits of ablative techniques for certain patients, including a superior complication profile and renal function preservation.KEY POINTS: • Patients selected for ablation of small renal masses are older and have more comorbidities compared with those undergoing partial nephrectomy. • Partial nephrectomy yields lower all-cause mortality, which is probably biased by patient selection and does not translate into prolonged cancer-free survival. • The decline of renal function is smallest after radiofrequency ablation for small renal masses.
Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: Ablation techniques;Kidney neoplasms;Meta-analysis;Nephrectomy.

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