Is Kidney Cancer Rare?

Papillary renal cell carcinoma conclusions

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Each cancer in a given organ can be quite different. For an uncommon cancer, a large enough population to study is necessary for doctors to make decisions on future cases.

While there are well over a dozen different types of kidney cancer, a large study was launched on papillary renal cell carcinoma, sometimes abbreviated as pRCC, to make sure that data was looked at in a similar context.

"Ask your surgeon to explain all treatment options."

Researchers from the University of Padua found that papillary renal cell carcinoma forms about 10 percent of kidney cancers, more commonly in men, with a fairly good prognosis for surgical treatment.

For evaluation by oncologists, pathologists found that the Fuhrman nuclear grade predicted prognosis more accurately than other tests.

"Because papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) only affects ten to 15 percent of kidney cancer patients, the small number of patients enrolled in individual studies makes it hard to draw meaningful conclusions about how the disease will progress" says lead author Dr Vincenzo Ficarra, associate professor of urology at the University of Padua, Italy.

Patient data was taken from 16 different surgical centers over a 12 year period. Out of 5,463 patients with kidney cancer, 577 were later found to have papillary renal cell carcinoma. Results of the surgery and treatment were followed for an average of 3 years.

The average patient was a 62 year old male, and the cancer was usually discovered by accident.

The tumors were normally about four centimeters in diameter. Most patients were treated by removing kidney, lymph, adrenal glands, and surrounding fat.

In terms of cancer aggression, the five year survival rate was 88 percent, ten year survival rate was 83 percent.

The study was published in the April edition of the British Journal of Urology, but is part of a larger research effort by the LUNA, the clinical research office of the Italian Society of Urology.

No financial disclosures were made by the research team.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 15, 2012
Last Updated:
July 24, 2012