CLEVELAND, May 17 (UPI) -- A Cleveland Clinic study suggests the removal of cancerous kidneys does not prolong the lives of patients 75 years or older.
The study, led by Dr. Stephen Campbell, indicated older patients who have confined kidney tumors do not live longer if their entire kidney is removed. Such patients, the study revealed, typically have other medical problems of greater significance and many should receive more conservative cancer-related care, such as observation or treatments that spare the non-cancerous parts of their kidneys.
The analysis also showed patients who had a cancerous kidney removed experienced accelerated dysfunction of their remaining kidney. Kidney removal also appeared to increase patients' risk of dying from cardiovascular causes.
"Current research is indicating over-treatment of localized renal tumors, and our data suggest that active surveillance is a reasonable strategy and one that is greatly underutilized in the elderly population," the investigators said, adding the potential benefit of kidney-sparing surgery in elderly patients who have the lowest risk for heart-related deaths and the greatest life expectancy warrants further investigation.
The study is published in the May 10 early online edition of the journal Cancer.