Prognostic factors of renal cell carcinoma with extension into inferior vena cava

Masahiro Tanaka, Kiyohide Fujimoto, Eijiro Okajima, Nobumichi Tanaka, Katsunori Yoshida, Yoshihiko Hirao
International Journal of Urology: Official Journal of the Japanese Urological Association 2008, 15 (5): 394-8

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prognosis of our series of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and tumor thrombus involving inferior vena cava (IVC) treated with nephrectomy and thrombectomy.

METHODS: In 46 patients with unilateral RCC extending into IVC who underwent nephrectomy and thrombectomy (T3b in 38 patients, T3c in 6, T4 in 2, N+ in 15, M1 in 21), overall and cancer-specific survival rates were estimated, and the univariable and multivariable analysis were carried out to determine the prognostic factors among age, gender, performance status, fever, inflammatory laboratory parameters, nodal and distant metastasis, tumor thrombus level, pathological parameters and postoperative interferon-alpha administration.

RESULTS: The median age was 66.5 (range 35-79) years. The median follow-up was 18.0 (mean 36.7 +/- 38.7) months. The overall and cancer-specific 5-year survival rates were 32.9% and 40.0%, respectively. The univariate analysis revealed that fever (hazard ratio: HR 4.03), C-reactive protein (HR 4.89), grade of tumor cell (HR 3.83), and lymph node metastasis (HR 5.99) were independent prognostic factors of cause-specific survival in all patients. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that lymph node metastasis (HR 4.13) was the only independent prognostic factor of cause-specific survival. The extension level or postoperative interferon-alpha administration did not influence the prognosis of patients with tumor thrombus involving IVC.

CONCLUSIONS: Aggressive surgery should be considered first in RCC patients with any levels of tumor thrombus. However, patients with both IVC involvement and nodal metastasis showed significantly poor prognosis, and development of novel intensive multidisciplinary therapies will be needed.

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