A Clinical Decision Aid to Support Personalized Treatment Selection for Patients with Clinical T1 Renal Masses: Results from a Multi-institutional Competing-risks Analysis

Sarah P. Psutka, Roman Gulati, Michael A.S. Jewett, Kamel Fadaak, Antonio Finelli, Laura Legere, Todd M. Morgan, Phillip M. Pierorazio, Mohamad E. Allaf, Jeph Herrin, Christine M. Lohse, R. Houston Thompson, Stephen A. Boorjian, Thomas D. Atwell, Grant D. Schmit, Brian A. Costello, Nilay D. Shah, Bradley C. Leibovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Personalized treatment for clinical T1 renal cortical masses (RCMs) should take into account competing risks related to tumor and patient characteristics. Objective: To develop treatment-specific prediction models for cancer-specific mortality (CSM), other-cause mortality (OCM), and 90-d Clavien grade ≥3 complications across radical nephrectomy (RN), partial nephrectomy (PN), thermal ablation (TA), and active surveillance (AS). Design, setting, and participants: Pretreatment clinical and radiological features were collected for consecutive adult patients treated with initial RN, PN, TA, or AS for RCMs at four high-volume referral centers (2000–2019). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Prediction models used competing-risks regression for CSM and OCM and logistic regression for 90-d Clavien grade ≥3 complications. Performance was assessed using bootstrap validation. Results and limitations: The cohort comprised 5300 patients treated with RN (n = 1277), PN (n = 2967), TA (n = 476), or AS (n = 580). Over median follow-up of 5.2 yr (interquartile range 2.5–8.7), there were 117 CSM, 607 OCM, and 198 complication events. The C index for the predictive models was 0.80 for CSM, 0.77 for OCM, and 0.64 for complications. Predictions from the fitted models are provided in an online calculator (https://small-renal-mass-risk-calculator.fredhutch.org). To illustrate, a hypothetical 74-yr-old male with a 4.5-cm RCM, body mass index of 32 kg/m2, estimated glomerular filtration rate of 50 ml/min, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 3, and Charlson comorbidity index of 3 has predicted 5-yr CSM of 2.9–5.6% across treatments, but 5-yr OCM of 29% and risk of 90-d Clavien grade 3–5 complications of 1.9% for RN, 5.8% for PN, and 3.6% for TA. Limitations include selection bias, heterogeneity in practice across treatment sites and the study time period, and lack of control for surgeon/hospital volume. Conclusions: We present a risk calculator incorporating pretreatment features to estimate treatment-specific competing risks of mortality and complications for use during shared decision-making and personalized treatment selection for RCMs. Patient summary: We present a risk calculator that generates personalized estimates of the risks of death from cancer or other causes and of complications for surgical, ablation, and surveillance treatment options for patients with stage 1 kidney tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-585
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Ablation
  • Comorbidity
  • Competing risks
  • Decision aid
  • Nephrectomy
  • Performance status
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Shared decision-making
  • Surveillance
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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