enero 2021

Association of Surgical Delay and Overall Survival in Patients With T2 Renal Masses: Implications for Critical Clinical Decision-making During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ginsburg KB, Curtis GL, Patel DN, et al.
Urology. 2020 Sep 20;S0090-4295(20)31150-X.
DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2020.09.010.



To test for an association between surgical delay and overall survival (OS) for patients with T2 renal masses. Many health care systems are balancing resources to manage the current COVID-19 pandemic, which may result in surgical delay for patients with large renal masses.


Using Cox proportional hazard models, we analyzed data from the National Cancer Database for patients undergoing extirpative surgery for clinical T2N0M0 renal masses between 2004 and 2015. Study outcomes were to assess for an association between surgical delay with OS and pathologic stage.


We identified 11,848 patients who underwent extirpative surgery for clinical T2 renal masses. Compared with patients undergoing surgery within 2 months of diagnosis, we found worse OS for patients with a surgical delay of 3-4 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00-1.25) or 5-6 months (HR 1.51, 95% CI 1.19-1.91). Considering only healthy patients with Charlson Comorbidity Index = 0, worse OS was associated with surgical delay of 5-6 months (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.21-2.34, P= .002) but not 3-4 months (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.93-1.26, P = 309). Pathologic stage (pT or pN) was not associated with surgical delay.


Prolonged surgical delay (5-6 months) for patients with T2 renal tumors appears to have a negative impact on OS while shorter surgical delay (3-4 months) was not associated with worse OS in healthy patients. The data presented in this study may help patients and providers to weigh the risk of surgical delay versus the risk of iatrogenic SARS-CoV-2 exposure during resurgent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Prognostic Molecular Signatures for Metastatic Potential in Clinically Low-Risk Stage I and II Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinomas

Shih AJ, Murphy N, Kozel Z, et al.
Front Oncol. 2020 Aug 11;10:1383.
DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01383.



For patients with localized node-negative (Stage I and II) clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC), current clinicopathological staging has limited predictive capability because of their low risk. Analyzing molecular signatures at the time of nephrectomy can aid in understanding future metastatic potential.


Develop a molecular signature that can stratify patients who have clinically low risk ccRCC, but have high risk genetic changes driving an aggressive metastatic phenotype.

Patients, Materials, and Methods

Presented is the differential expression of mRNA and miRNA in 44 Stage I and Stage II patients, 21 who developed metastasis within 5 years of nephrectomy, compared to 23 patients who remained disease free for more than 5 years. Extracted RNA from nephrectomy specimens preserved in FFPE blocks was sequenced using RNAseq. MiRNA expression was performed using the TaqMan OpenArray qPCR protocol.


One hundred thirty one genes and 2 miRNA were differentially expressed between the two groups. Canonical correlation (CC) analysis was applied and four CCs (CC32, CC20, CC9, and CC7) have an AUC > 0.65 in our dataset with similar predictive power in the TCGA-KIRC dataset. Gene set enrichment showed CC9 as kidney development/adhesion, CC20 as oxidative phosphorylation pathway, CC32 as RNA binding/spindle and CC7 as immune response. In a multivariate Cox model, the four CCs were able to identify high/low risk groups for metastases in the TCGA-KIRC (p < 0.05) with odds ratios of CC32 = 5.7, CC20 = 4.4, CC9 = 3.6, and CC7 = 2.7.


These results identify molecular signatures for more aggressive tumors in clinically low risk ccRCC patients who have a higher potential of metastasis than would be expected.

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Grading Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma: Evidence for a Four-tiered Classification Incorporating Coagulative Tumor Necrosis

Avulova S, Cheville JC, Lohse CM, et al.
Eur Urol. 2020 Nov 7;S0302-2838(20)30784-3.
DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2020.10.007.



Although grading systems have been proposed for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC), including a three-tiered system by Paner et al (Paner GP, Amin MB, Alvarado-Cabrero I, et al. A novel tumor gradingscheme for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma: prognostic utility and comparison with Fuhrman nuclear grade. Am J Surg Pathol 2010;34:1233–40), none have gained clinical acceptance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends against grading ChRCC.


To validate a previously published grading scheme and propose a scheme that includes tumor necrosis.

Design, setting and participants

A total of 266 patients who underwent nephrectomy for nonmetastatic ChRCC between 1970 and 2012 were reviewed for ChRCC grade according to the Paner system and coagulative tumor necrosis.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

Associations with cancer-specific survival (CSS) were evaluated using Cox proportional hazard regression models and summarized with hazard ratios (HRs).

Results and limitations

Twenty-nine patients died from RCC; the median follow-up was 11.0 (interquartile range 7.9–15.9) yr. ChRCC grade according to the Paner system was significantly associated with CSS, including the difference in outcome between grade 1 and 2 tumors. Among patients with grade 2 tumors, the presence of tumor necrosis helped delineate patients with worse CSS. As such, the Paner system was expanded to four tiers separating grade 2 into those with and without tumor necrosis. HRs for associations of the proposed grade 2, 3, and 4 tumors with CSS were 4.63 (p = 0.007), 17.8 (p < 0.001), and 20.9 (p < 0.001), respectively. The study is limited by the lack of multivariable analysis including additional pathologic features.


The expansion of a previously reported ChRCC grading system from three to four tiers by the inclusion of tumor necrosis helps further delineate patient outcome and can, therefore, enhance patient counseling following surgery. It also aligns the number of ChRCC grades with the WHO/International Society of Urologic Pathology four-tiered grading systems for clear cell and papillary RCC.

Patient summary

Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is the third most common type of renal cancer, and unlike other renal cancers, there is no accepted prognostic grading system. In this study, we found that a grading system that included a pathologic feature of tumor necrosis could better define outcomes for patients with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

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Acute interstitial nephritis, a potential predictor of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in renal cell carcinoma

Patel V, Elias R, Formella J, et al.
J Immunother Cancer. 2020 Oct.
DOI: 10.1136/jitc-2020-001198.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) such as nivolumab and ipilimumab have improved outcomes in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) patients, but they are also associated with immune-related adverse events (irAEs). As observed in melanoma, we hypothesized that patients experiencing an autoimmune reaction directed against the tissue of origin may be more likely to benefit from ICI. Specifically, we asked whether patients with immune-related acute interstitial nephritis (irAIN) exhibited improved outcomes. Using Kidney Cancer Explorer (KCE), a data portal and i2b2-based central database for clinical, pathological and experimental genetic data, we systematically identified all patients with mRCC at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) from 2014-2018 who received at least one dose of ICI. More recent cases were identified through a provider query. We extracted creatinine (Cr) values at baseline and over the entirety of each patient ICI treatment course using KCE. Patients with ≥ 1.5-fold Cr increase over baseline were investigated. The likelihood of irAIN was determined based on the work-up (biopsy, if available), or by clinical criteria (timing of kidney injury, exclusion of other etiologies, treatment with immunosuppressants and response). We identified 177 mRCC patients who received at least one dose of ICI, 36 of whom had ≥ 1.5-fold increase in Cr over baseline while on treatment. Of those, two had biopsy-proven irAIN and one was clinically diagnosed, resulting in an incidence of 1.7%. One additional biopsy-proven case past 2018 was identified through a provider query, for a total of four patients. Two received combination nivolumab and ipilimumab in the first line, whereas the remaining received nivolumab after first line therapy. irAIN onset ranged from 1.5 to 12 months. All four patients stopped ICI with recovery of renal function, at least partially, three after receiving systemic steroids. Notably, all four patients had a deep response. In conclusion, irAIN is a rare event, but it may portend a higher likelihood of response. One possible explanation is antigenic overlap between normal renal tubular cells and tumor cells.

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