Percutaneous microwave ablation of T1a and T1b renal cell carcinoma: short-term efficacy and complications with emphasis on tumor complexity and single session treatment
PURPOSE Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation are accepted alternative treatments for small renal cell carcinomas (RCC) in high-risk patients. The recent development of high-powered microwave (MW) ablation offers theoretical advantages over existing ablation systems, including higher tissue temperatures, more reproducible ablation zones, and shorter procedural times. The purpose of this study is to review the feasibility, safety, and early efficacy of a novel high-powered percutaneous MW ablation system to treat RCC. METHODS An institutional database identified 53 consecutive patients with biopsy-proven RCC ≤4 cm (55 tumors) who were treated with percutaneous MW ablation using a novel MW ablation system. All patients had percutaneous renal mass biopsy, which identified RCC before ablation. Postprocedure follow-up imaging was performed by contrast-enhanced computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS Mean patient age was 66 years and 81% of patients were male. RCC subtypes included clear cell (n=25), papillary (n=12), and unspecified (n=18) and Fuhrman grades 1, 2, 3, and ungraded in 15, 25, 1, and 14 patients, respectively. The mean tumor diameter was 2.6 cm (range 0.8-4.0 cm). Six low-grade complications were recorded during 53 (11.3%) procedures: five Clavien Grade 1 (urine retention, fluid overload, and atrial fibrillation) and one Grade 2 (hemorrhage requiring transfusion). The postprocedure estimated glomerular filtration rate was not significantly changed from preprocedure levels (median: -1.1%, p=0.10). Median follow-up was 8 months (interquartile range [IQR] 5-18.25) with 0/38 (0%) patients demonstrating evidence of local recurrence or metastasis during surveillance imaging. CONCLUSIONS Use of a high-powered MW ablation system for the treatment of T1a RCC is feasible, safe, and efficacious with short-term follow-up. A longer follow-up is warranted to evaluate oncologic outcomes.