Clinical outcome of surgical management for patients with renal cell carcinoma involving the inferior vena cava

Tomoaki Terakawa, Hideaki Miyake, Atsushi Takenaka, Isao Hara, Masato Fujisawa
International Journal of Urology: Official Journal of the Japanese Urological Association 2007, 14 (9): 781-4

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome after surgical management of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) extending to the inferior vena cava (IVC).

METHODS: This study included a total of 55 patients (41 men and 14 women; mean age, 59.3 years) with RCC (39 right- and 16 left-sided tumors) involving the IVC, who underwent radical nephrectomy and tumor thrombectomy between 1983 and 2005 at a single institution in Japan. The level of thrombus was classified as follows: level I, infrahepatic; level II, intrahepatic; level III, suprahepatic; and level IV, extending to the atrium. Clinicopathological data from these patients were retrospectively reviewed to identify factors associated with survival.

RESULTS: There were 11 and 18 patients who were diagnosed as having lymph node and distant metastases, respectively. Twenty-two patients had tumor thrombus in level I, 20 in level II, 10 in level III, and 3 in level IV. Pathological examinations demonstrated that 34 and 21 patients had clear cell carcinoma and non-clear cell carcinoma, respectively, 42, 9 and 4 were pT3b, pT3c and pT4, respectively, and 6, 35 and 14 were Grades 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Cancer-specific 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates of these 55 patients were 74.5%, 51.4% and 30.3%, respectively. Among several factors examined, clinical stage (P = 0.047), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.016), histological subtype (P = 0.034) and tumor grade (P < 0.001) were significantly associated with cancer-specific survival by univariate analysis. Furthermore, multivariate analysis demonstrated clinical stage (P = 0.037) and tumor grade (P < 0.001) as independent predictors of cancer-specific survival irrespective of other significant factors identified by univariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with RCC involving the IVC, biological aggressiveness characterized by tumor grade rather than tumor extension would have more potential prognostic importance; therefore, more intensive multimodal therapy should be considered in patients with high grade RCC with tumor thrombus extending into the IVC.

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