Current opinion in urology vol:11 issue:3 pages:281-6
The role of nephron sparing surgery in patients with a solitary kidney, bilateral kidney tumors or an impaired renal function has been widely accepted. Partial nephrectomy in patients with a normal contralateral kidney is still under discussion. Nevertheless, more and more surgeons perform nephron sparing surgery in these patients with good results. From historical comparisons there seems to be no statistically significant difference in five-year survival between radical nephrectomy and nephron sparing surgery when the tumor diameter is four centimeters or less. The most common problem is the risk of tumor recurrence due to the multifocality. However, multifocality is more frequent than kidney recurrence, questioning the spontaneous evolution of satellite lesions. Further investigations are necessary to optimize patient selection. Therefore, a randomized prospective multicenter study with long-term follow-up might add to the excellent results published by several authors during the last two years in order to confirm that nephron sparing surgery is an excellent alternative to radical nephrectomy in small asymptomatic renal cell carcinoma.