In this pilot trial, we investigate the safety of CT-guided high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) as a local ablative treatment for renal masses not eligible for resection or nephrectomy.
We investigated renal function after irradiation by HDR-BT in 16 patients (11 male, 5 female, mean age 76 years) with 20 renal lesions (renal cell carcinoma n = 18; renal metastases n = 2). Two patients had previous contralateral nephrectomy and two had ipsilateral partial nephrectomy. Six lesions had a hilar localization with proximity to the renal pelvis and would have not been favorable for thermal ablation. Renal function loss was determined within 1 year after HDR-BT by renal scintigraphy and laboratory parameters. Further investigations included CT and MRI every 3 months to observe procedural safety and local tumor control. Renal function tests were analyzed by Wilcoxon's signed rank test with Bonferroni-Holm correction of p-values. Survival and local tumor control underwent a Kaplan-Meier estimation.
Median follow-up was 22.5 months. One patient required permanent hemodialysis 32 months after repeated HDR-BT and contralateral radiofrequency ablation of multifocal renal cell carcinoma. No other patient developed a significant worsening in global renal function and no gastrointestinal or urogenital side effects were observed. Only one patient died of renal tumor progression. Local control rate was 95% including repeated HDR-BT of two recurrences.
HDR-BT is a feasible and safe technique for the local ablation of renal masses. A phase II study is recruiting to evaluate the efficacy of this novel local ablative treatment in a larger study population.
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