DISCOVERY IN KIDNEY CANCER
How Best To Treat Kidney Cancer: Evidence-Based Guidelines
An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people undergo surgery each year for kidney tumors that are benign. Is this the best approach for them?
Every year, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer. However, “not all kidney tumors are dangerous; in fact, many tumors are not even cancers,” says Mohamad Allaf, M.D., the recipient of the Mohamad E. Allaf Directorship in Minimally Invasive Urology and Director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery. An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people undergo surgery each year for kidney tumors that are benign. Is this the best approach for them? This is one of “a number of uncertainties in the understanding of kidney cancer and its treatments,” says urologist Phillip Pierorazio, M.D., who also is Director of the Division of Testis Cancer. The established guidelines are in need of an update. Allaf and Pierorazio, leading a team of Hopkins investigators, recently analyzed the literature and data on clinically localized kidney cancer to create new recommendations for the treatment of the disease. The project was funded by the Evidence-based Practice Center program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The team reviewed more than 20,000 articles and distilled the data into a document posted on the AHRQ’s Effective Healthcare Website (effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/? pageaction=displayproduct&productID= 2185).
The team’s findings will help patients and physicians “predict which tumors are cancerous, how biopsy can be safely and effectively be used, and importantly, which treatment is right for a given patient,” notes Allaf. This document will help the American Urological Association prepare the newest guidelines for the treatment of kidney cancer.