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Fox Chase Cancer CenterFox Chase Cancer Center Study Challenges Assumptions About Cystic Renal Masses

Rethinking Cystic Renal Masses: Unveiling Hidden Aggressiveness

A recent study from Fox Chase Cancer Center challenges the prevailing assumption that cystic renal masses are low-risk and unlikely to spread beyond the kidney. The study, one of the largest to date, reveals that a high-grade or aggressive disease could be hidden within a significant percentage of these masses, prompting a need for more discerning diagnostic and treatment strategies.

Key Points

  • The study found that high-grade or aggressive disease could be hidden within 23% of cystic renal masses.
  • Despite the presence of aggressive tumors, all patients had good outcomes, and there was no difference in survival between patients who underwent surgery and those who followed active surveillance.
  • The study underscores that watching and waiting can be an extremely safe approach for treating patients with these lesions.
  • The number of people diagnosed with kidney cancer is rising, yet mortality rates have stayed relatively the same. This is likely due to a “treatment disconnect,” in which lesions are being diagnosed and treated even when they don’t pose a threat to the patient.

“We didn’t expect to have this many aggressive tumors in there. It recharges the conversation about how we should describe, catalogue, and manage these masses.”
— Alexander Kutikov, MD, FACS, Chair and Professor of the Department of Urology at Fox Chase Cancer Center

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