Noninvasive therapy of incidental de novo renal cell carcinoma in a kidney allograft 12 years after transplantation: report of a case and review of literature

E Matevossian, A Novotny, B Vogelsang, J Mehler, M Stangl, S Thorban, M Dobritz
Transplantation Proceedings 2008, 40 (4): 915-7

BACKGROUND: Immunosuppressive therapy increases the incidence of posttransplantation cancer. Primary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) represents 4.6% of all cancers in transplant recipients. The treatment options for RCC in a renal allograft include radical nephrectomy or nephron-sparing surgery. We report the case of a patient who underwent percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of a RCC in the grafted kidney.

PATIENT AND METHODS: Twelve years after undergoing heterotopic, allogenic kidney transplantation, a de novo lesion was diagnosed in the upper pole of the kidney graft in a 77-year-old patient during routine duplex ultrasonography. The magnetic resonance image showed a spherical lesion of 17 mm in diameter, which undoubtedly showed radiological signs of a RCC. After adequately informing the patient about alternative treatment strategies and the associated risks, we made an interdisciplinary decision for a percutaneous RFA of the lesion.

RESULTS: After the intervention, graft function remained unchanged and is still good at 6 months with no signs of local recurrence on follow-up MRI. A small coagulation defect at the site of the former lesion was the only morphological change. There was also no evidence of distant tumor spread.

CONCLUSION: Percutaneous RFA seems an acceptable, allograft-preserving treatment option associated with low morbidity and mortality for RCC in a renal allograft considering the significant risks associated with open partial nephrectomy in a kidney graft.

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