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New model predicts whether patients will be free of renal cancer 12 years after initial treatment
Date:6/2/2008

new cases of renal cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. A majority of the tumors were discovered incidentally in patients who had no symptoms. Because imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) are now being used more often for a variety of conditions, early diagnosis of renal cancer is more common.

"Historically renal cancer was associated with a tremendously poor diagnosis," Dr. Raj said. "However, more and more cases are being diagnosed incidentally and earlier thanks to the increased usage of imaging techniques. A patient will have a CT scan to evaluate unrelated symptoms and be told he or she has a mass in the kidney."

The nomogram relies on patient characteristics to make a statistical prediction. Gender, the presence or absence of symptoms, and the mass's size are among the input data. For example, a woman with an incidentally discovered, 3-centimeter renal mass has a 96 percent chance of being cancer free 12 years after surgery alone, Dr. Raj said.

In comparison, a man with a 4-centimeter renal mass found as a result of seeing his physician after having flank pain, and with imaging tests showing the lymph nodes are enlarged, has less than a 40 percent chance of being cancer free 12 years after surgery.

"This model allows us to better predict a patient's chances of reoccurrence even before surgery," Dr. Raj said. "The nomogram is a prognostic tool physicians can use to better counsel patients on how curable their cancer may be with just surgery, or if alternative treatments will likely be needed. In the examples of the two patients with similar sized renal masses, I might consider using a more aggressive treatment course and follow-up schedule for the man than the woman based on their nomogram results."


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Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
erin.pratherstafford@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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