Purpose: The true incidence and biological behavior of cystic renal cell carcinoma are not known. To our knowledge we present the largest series of patients with cystic renal cell carcinoma with long-term followup. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the Mayo Clinic surgical pathology files of renal cell cancer cases with a cystic component resected from 1969 to 1997, and arbitrarily chose 75% tumor involvement by cysts as a cutoff for inclusion in the study. Results: We identified 24 cases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma with 75% or greater involvement by cysts comprising 0.79% of 3,047 renal cell cancer cases resected at our institution between 1969 and 1997. Mean patient age was 62.7 years (range 40 to 83). A total of 11 patients (46%) underwent radical nephrectomy, 4 (17%) simple nephrectomy, 3 (12%) partial nephrectomy and 6 (25%) tumor enucleation. Mean tumor involvement by cysts was 84% (range 75 to 95) and in 11 cases (46%) involvement was 90% or greater. Cancer stage was T1 in 20 patients (83%), T2 in 1 (4.4%) and T3a in 4 (12.5%). Cancers were diploid in all but 1 case. Mean followup was 77.6 months (range 8 to 428, median 51). A total of 22 patients (92%) had no evidence of cancer and 2 died of intercurrent disease. Conclusions: Our results indicate that cystic renal cell carcinoma is uncommon and usually cured by resection, regardless of size, stage or number of cysts. These patients may benefit from nephron sparing surgery, such as partial nephrectomy.
- Carcinoma, renal cell
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