Outcomes and clinicopathologic variables associated with late recurrence after nephrectomy for localized renal cell carcinoma

Simon P. Kim, Christopher J. Weight, Bradley C. Leibovich, R. Houston Thompson, Brian A. Costello, John C. Cheville, Christine M. Lohse, Stephen A. Boorjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize the incidence and clinicopathologic factors associated with late recurrence after surgical resection for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) because the recurrence patterns >5 years after nephrectomy have been poorly described. Methods: We identified 1454 patients treated with nephrectomy for localized RCC from 1970 to 2000 who had remained free of disease for 5 years. Subsequent tumor recurrence was classified as renal recurrence and distant metastasis. The incidence of recurrence >5 years from surgery was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The associations of clinicopathologic variables with late recurrence were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard regression models. Results: With a median postoperative follow-up of 13.9 years (range 5.1-38.9), 63 patients (4.3%) experienced late renal recurrence at a median of 9.3 years (range 5.1-25.3), and 172 patients (11.8%) developed late distant metastases at a median of 9.6 years (range 5.1-26.6) after surgery. The estimated recurrence-free survival rate at 10 and 15 years was 97.3% and 95.2% for renal recurrence, and 93.1% and 85.9% for distant metastases, respectively. On multivariate analysis, increased tumor size (hazard ratio [HR] 1.12; P <.001) was associated with late renal tumor recurrence, and increased tumor size (HR 1.07; P =.018), clear cell or collecting duct histologic features (HR 3.76; P <.001), and tumor Stage pT1b (HR 2.8; P <.001), pT2a (HR 4.5; P <.001), pT2b (HR 3.4; P =.007), and pT3-pT4 (HR 5.1; P <.001) were associated with distant metastasis. Conclusion: After an initial 5-year postoperative disease-free interval, approximately 5% and 15% of patients will develop renal recurrence and distant metastases, respectively, during the next decade. Therefore, long-term surveillance remains necessary after nephrectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1106
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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