JOURNAL ARTICLE

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
17760741

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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