Local Recurrence of Renal Cancer After Surgery: Prime Time for Percutaneous Thermal Ablation?

Lorenzo Monfardini, Gianluca Maria Varano, Riccardo Foà, Paolo Della Vigna, Guido Bonomo, Franco Orsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to retrospectively assess the safety and efficacy of radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) for retroperitoneal relapse following surgery for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients and Methods: After open radical nephrectomy or nephron-sparing surgery, eight patients with no evidence of distant metastases were treated for retroperitoneal relapse of RCC with RFA. A total of 16 lesions were ablated. Technical success, tumor response, follow-up duration, and complications were retrospectively analyzed. Results: Disease progression after surgery occurred within a mean time of 57 months (range 9–120). Recurrent tumor size varied from 5 to 34 mm. Five patients previously underwent surgical resection of retroperitoneal recurrent lesions. Six patients were treated with percutaneous approach, while two with recurrent nodes located on the anterior pancreatic surface underwent laparotomic RFA approach. All lesions were completely ablated and patients were followed up with CT at 30 days, after 3 and every 6 months. There was no residual enhancement after a mean follow-up of 12 months (range 7–17). Both patients treated with laparotomic approach had a grade 2 complication according to the Clavien–Dindo classification. Conclusions: In our small series, RFA after relapse of surgically removed RCC was safe and effective. Percutaneous and laparotomic thermal ablation should be assessed as first line loco-regional treatment on a larger patient group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542-1547
Number of pages6
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Radiofrequency thermal ablation
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Retroperitoneal relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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