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Kidney Cancer Drug Linked to Higher Rate of Heart Problems
Date:2/13/2008

A second study, also being presented at the conference, found that a procedure known as partial nephrectomy is being underutilized in treating patients with small kidney tumors.

Partial nephrectomy involves removing only the part of the kidney bearing the tumor, while radical nephrectomy involves removing the whole kidney.

"Radical nephrectomy has essentially been the gold standard since the 1940s and 1950s," said study author Dr. William Huang, an assistant professor of urologic oncology at New York University School of Medicine. "There is a greater than 90 percent cure rate, but the procedure does increase the risk of going on to develop chronic kidney disease."

Partial nephrectomy appears to be equally effective in tumors less than 4 centimeters and even in some up to 7 centimeters in size. Although there are potential complications here as well, partial nephrectomy does a better job of preserving kidney function and preventing chronic kidney disease.

Huang and his colleagues found that women, older patients and patients with cerebrovascular disease such as stroke were more likely to have the entire kidney removed. Only 20.5 percent of men and 22.4 percent of patients aged 66 to 69 had the partial procedure, versus 16 percent of women and 7.1 percent of patients aged 85 and over.

"Most of the newly diagnosed kidney tumors are amenable to partial nephrectomy but in those newly diagnosed, many continue to undergo radical nephrectomy," Huang said. "Partial nephrectomy is an option for most patients with newly diagnosed tumors and may be a better option, because people with kidney tumors may have other conditions."

More information

There's more on kidney cancer at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Patrick Lowry, M.D., assistant professor, surgery, Texas A&am
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