The curative management of renal cell carcinoma remains surgical. Recent advances in imaging and increased use of cross-sectional imaging modalities have led to an increased detection of incidental renal cell carcinomas. There is little debate regarding the role of nephron-sparing surgery (NSS) when absolutely indicated. Radical nephrectomy is still considered by many as the treatment of choice for localized renal cell carcinoma in the setting of a normal contralateral kidney. However, there is growing evidence that in the correct patient, the use of NSS in this setting is justified. Therefore, the indications of NSS have evolved in the past decade. Recent data indicate that radical nephrectomy and NSS provide effective and equivalent curative treatment for most renal cell carcinomas, especially those 4 cm or smaller. These data, along with new, refined surgical techniques, new studies regarding the biology of renal cell carcinoma and true incidence of occult multifocality, and earlier diagnosis make NSS an attractive consideration for the practicing urologist.
ASJC Scopus subject areas