Indsat grafik-3.jpgWhen treating with cryoablation a small needle is inserted directly into the renal tumour (photo: Tommy Kjærgaard Nielsen).

Renal cancer can be treated gently and effectively with cryoablation, the first new Danish data show, where patients have been followed for a longer period of time.

A small cryoablation needle inserted directly into the renal tumour has been shown to be a highly effective treatment in patients with renal cancer.

This is the result of new research from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University in Denmark, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology.

Cryoablation in renal cancer was first introduced in Denmark at Aarhus University Hospital in 2005. Today, the hospital treats approximately 130 patients annually from the two Danish regions, Central Denmark Region and North Denmark Region. Cryoablation can be offered to patients with renal tumours not exceeding 4 cm.

Low rates of recurrence
Over the years, patients have been followed and researchers are now ready to present the first Danish long-term data in this area contributing to the international statistics, which are very limited in this area.

- The results show that only six per cent of the patients experienced recurrence after cryoablation treatment. During the up to 10-year follow-up period, only three per cent of the patients died from renal cancer, says Tommy Kjærgaard Nielsen, MD at Department of Urology at Aarhus University Hospital and Clinical associate professor at Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University.

- Cryoablation is a gentler treatment that laparoscopy, which is typically the alternative. Patients are treated in an outpatient setting and go back home again the same day. Today, several of our patients request cryoablation despite being candidates for surgery.

International discussion
Internationally, it has been heavily debated if patients with renal cancer should be offered cryoablation or surgery. There are no so-called randomised studies where the same type of patients has been randomly selected to undergo either cryoablation or surgery.

American and European guidelines generally recommend surgery. This is because early statistics on cryoablation have shown poor results as this treatment was typically offered to the most severely ill patients who could not undergo surgery and thus had a poorer prognosis.

- At Aarhus University Hospital we have primarily offered cryoablation to our patients and we can see that treatment results from cryoablation fully match results from surgery. Moreover, cryoablation is a gentler treatment for the patients.

- We recommend that cryoablation treatment is discussed with the patients, in particular with patients where another disease may increase the risk for complications in connection with surgical interventions.


Behind the research result:

Study type: Retrospective data study

Collaborators: Department of Urology and Department of Radiology, Aarhus University Hospital

External financing: Grant from the Central Denmark Region research fund

Conflicts of interest: No


Read the scientific article:



Further information:

Tommy Kjærgaard Nielsen, MD, PhD, Department of Urology, Aarhus University Hospital and Clinical associate professor at Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Tel.: +45 30 91 56 44, e-mail: tomnie@rm.dk