The Department of Urology at Mayo Clinic has long been at the forefront of research on kidney disease and tumors that need to be removed with surgery — both complete removal of the kidney, called radical nephrectomy, and kidney-sparing surgery, called partial nephrectomy.

In a review and analysis of eight studies involving more than 2,200 people, Mayo Clinic researchers found that surgery significantly increased life expectancy for many people with late-stage kidney cancer. People with renal cell carcinoma who had surgery to completely remove cancer that had spread, called metastases, lived significantly longer compared with people 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 Clinic study will determine whether the combination of surgery and medicine helps people with late-stage kidney cancer whose cancer has spread live even longer.

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


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