Georgiades said that freezing is already the "first-line treatment" for small kidney cancer tumors at Hopkins.
However, Dr. Paul Russo, an attending urologic oncological surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, argued strongly against the notion that cryoablation now be considered the "gold standard" for kidney cancer treatment.
"To suggest that freezing should be the new 'gold standard' is very naive because the treatment of small renal masses is a highly complex area in kidney tumor management, and ablation is largely an investigative technique that simply has not yet been studied well."
"For example, one of the ways in which this particular study is flawed is that, after ablation, they conducted much too short a follow-up to perform any kind of meaningful survival analysis," Russo noted. "Almost nothing happens in the first year. To assess the effectiveness of any kidney cancer treatment you really need active surveillance for at least a five-year period, which they didn't do."
"The study's conclusions are a huge overstatement," he added. "Freezing is just one treatment option. Nothing more."
The American Cancer Society has more on kidney cancer.
SOURCES: Christos Georgiades, M.D., Ph.D., interventional radiologist, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; Paul Russo, M.D., attending urologic oncological surgeon, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, and professor, urology, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; March 9, 2009, presentations, Society of Interventional Radiology annual meeting, San Diego
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