Master, V. et al., “Management of Isolated Renal Fossa Recurrence Following Radical Nephrectomy.” (2005)


Local recurrence of renal cell carcinoma in the renal fossa without distant metastatic disease is an infrequent occurrence. Management of this lesion can be challenging, with rela-tively few series in the literature. We describe our use of surgical extirpation with adjuvant intraoperative radiation.


The University of California, San Francisco Urologic Oncology data-base and the University of California, San Francisco Radiation Oncology database were queried for all patients with locally recurrent renal fossa recurrence. Only patients with recurrence of renal cell carcinoma in the renal fossa were included. Survival, complications and the use of adjuvant therapy in the form of intraoperative radiation therapy were noted.


A total of 14 patients were treated for this lesion between 1990 and 2003. Mean time to recurrence was 40 months (range 5 to 180). Only 1 patient was symptomatic preoperatively, while in 13 disease had been detected on routine computerized tomography followup. Mean size of the recurrent tumor was 6.35 cm (range 2 to 17). 9 patients died of progressive, metastatic disease after a mean of 17 months (range 1 to 56) and 5 are alive with a mean survival of 66 months (range 14 to 86). The time to recurrence after nephrectomy approached statistical significance (p 0.06) when comparing the patients who were alive vs those who died of disease. Additionally, there was no statistical difference in size of mass recurrence between these 2 groups. There was no difference in survival due to adjuvant intraoperative radiation therapy. Local fossa re-recurrence developed in 2 patients. Survival was 40% at 2 years and 30% at 5 years from surgery. Complications, including minor complications, occurred in 42% of patients and there was no perioperative mortality.


Selected patients with isolated local recurrence in the renal fossa may have favorable and durable outcomes following surgical resection and possibly adjuvant intraoperative radiation therapy for isolated renal fossa recurrence following radical nephrectomy. Development of novel and effective systemic therapy is needed in high risk patients with renal cancer.