Research

The Department of Urology at Mayo Clinic has long been at the forefront of research on kidney disease and tumors that require surgical removal (nephrectomies) — both complete removal of the kidney (radical nephrectomy) and kidney-sparing surgery (partial nephrectomy).

In a recent review and analysis of eight studies involving more than 2,200 people, Mayo Clinic researchers found that surgery significantly increased life expectancy for many patients with late-stage kidney cancer. Renal cell carcinoma patients who had surgery to completely remove secondary tumor growth, called metastases, had significantly improved survival compared with patients with metastases who did not have the surgery.

This research confirms the importance of complete removal of the metastases, when possible, to prolong life. Another Mayo study will evaluate the interaction of surgery and drugs to determine if the combination increases survival even more in people with late-stage kidney cancer whose cancer has spread.

Mayo Clinic research efforts continue to focus on new and novel surgical techniques and nonsurgical options to improve outcomes, increase changes of a cancer cure and improve quality of life.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo doctors on nephrectomy and partial nephrectomy on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Research Profiles

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July 11, 2017
References
  1. Nephrectomy. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nephrectomy. Accessed March 15, 2017.
  2. Leibovich BC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 8, 2017.
  3. Renal cell carcinoma. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/renal-cell-carcinoma. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Wilms tumor. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. AskMayoExpert. Partial nephrectomy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  6. Richie JP. Definitive surgical management of renal cell carcinoma. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  7. Richie JP, et al. Role of surgery in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  8. Tan HJ, et al. Long-term survival following partial vs. radical nephrectomy among older patients with early-stage kidney cancer. JAMA. 2012;307:1629.
  9. Abaza R, et al. Multi-institutional experience with robotic nephrectomy with inferior vena cava tumor thrombectomy. The Journal of Urology. 2016;195:865.
  10. Stewart-Merrill SB, et al. Oncologic surveillance after surgical resection for renal cell carcinoma: A novel risk-based approach. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2015;33:4151.
  11. Kim SP, et al. Approach to the small renal mass: To treat or not to treat. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2012;39:171.
  12. Patton MW, et al. Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy for complex renal masses. Journal of Robotic Surgery. 2016;10:27.
  13. Zaid HB, et al. Outcomes following complete surgical metastasectomy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Urology. 2017;197:44.
  14. Your kidneys and how they work. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  15. Solitary kidney. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/solitary-kidney. Accessed May 10, 2017.