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Urology. 2009 Oct;74(4):842-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.02.013. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

Does histologic subtype affect oncologic outcomes after nephron-sparing surgery?

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  • 1Cancer Prognostics and Health Outcomes Unit, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To test whether renal cell carcinoma (RCC) histologic subtypes (HSs) affect cancer-specific mortality after nephron-sparing surgery (NSS). HSs are considered of prognostic value in RCC. For example, the papillary HS might confer a worse prognosis, and, at some centers, only radical nephrectomy is performed for the papillary HS.


We used univariate and multivariate Cox regression models to study patients with Stage T1N0M0 RCC treated with NSS (n = 1205) from 1988 to 2004. The data were taken from 9 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries.


At 36 months after NSS, the cancer-specific mortality rate was 97.8%, 100%, and 97.4% for a clear cell, chromophobe, and papillary RCC HS, respectively. On univariate and multivariate analyses, no statistically significant differences were recorded with regard to the HS.


Despite the suggested more aggressive phenotype of the papillary HS, we found no difference among the papillary, chromophobe, and clear cell variants. Thus, the diagnosis of one HS vs another HS should not deter from the use of NSS when cancer-specific mortality is considered as an endpoint.

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