Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More Kidney Cancer Is Detected And Treated Early, Yet Death Rate Rises

Date:
September 20, 2006
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
The number of cases of kidney cancer has been rising over the last two decades, and new research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center shows that this increase is driven largely by the detection of small, presumably curable, kidney masses. But even though the rising incidence has been paralleled by greater use of surgery for kidney cancer, this trend has not led to fewer people dying.

The number of cases of kidney cancer has been rising over the last two decades, and new research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center shows that this increase is driven largely by the detection of small, presumably curable, kidney masses. But even though the rising incidence has been paralleled by greater use of surgery for kidney cancer, this trend has not led to fewer people dying.

Related Articles


"With increased early detection and treatment of small tumors, we would expect to see a decrease in mortality associated with kidney cancer," says senior author Brent K. Hollenbeck, M.D., assistant professor of urology at the U-M Medical School. "Surprisingly, that's not what we found. Our research shows that an increase in detection and treatment is not leading to a reduction in the kidney cancer mortality rate."

The study -- published in the Sept. 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute -- includes data from nine of the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries. In all, the researchers examined data from 34,503 patients with kidney cancer.

Over the study period (1983 to 2002), researchers observed a rise in the occurrence of kidney cancer (also known as renal cell carcinoma) for tumors of all sizes. But the greatest increases in kidney cancer incidence were among tumors 4 centimeters or smaller. Tumors of this size, often found in patients without any clinical signs or symptoms, are being detected more and more with the widespread use of abdominal imaging studies, such as MRIs and CAT scans. These small kidney tumors are considered curable by surgery, which has led to a rise in surgery for kidney cancer.

Even as early detection and surgical treatment increased, however, mortality rates caused by kidney cancer during the time period rose dramatically, from 1.2 to 3.2 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States.

These seemingly contradictory findings can be explained, in part, through the rising incidence of larger, more lethal tumors, says lead author John M. Hollingsworth, M.D., fifth-year surgery resident with the Department of Urology at the U-M Medical School. "While more and more small, detectable kidney tumors are being treated, the absolute number of patients with larger, lethal masses has not decreased. And it is these larger, lethal masses that seem to mainly affect mortality," Hollingsworth says.

The researchers say the data also suggest something else: A proportion of these smaller, incidentally found kidney tumors may not merit surgical removal.

"We're not saying that surgery for patients with small renal masses is inappropriate," Hollingsworth says. "Our findings, however, show that their increased treatment has not diminished kidney cancer mortality. This calls to question the effectiveness of our current treatment strategy. Perhaps there are some patients with small kidney tumors for whom surgery is not the best option."

Kidney cancer is the third most common malignancy of the genitourinary system (the reproductive system and urinary system). The American Cancer Society estimates there will be about 38,890 new cases of kidney cancer (24,650 in men and 14,240 in women) in the United States this year, and about 12,840 people (8,130 men and 4,710 women) will die from the disease.

This study included data from 34,503 kidney cancer patients, including age at diagnosis, race, gender and information about the tumor. During the years 1983-2002, researchers found, the overall incidence of kidney cancer rose from 7.1 to 10.8 cases per 100,000 people in the United States, an increase of 52 percent. The largest increase was among people with tumors 2 to 4 centimeters in size (the second-smallest category of tumors in the study), an increase of 1.0 to 3.3 cases per 100,000 people in the United States.

Mortality rates also increased, most notably among people with the largest group of tumors (greater than 7 centimeters). Deaths caused by cancer in this group rose from 0.3 to 1.4 per 100,000 people in the United States.

"What this shows us is that, despite more frequent surgeries for smaller kidney cancers, mortality among patients with kidney cancer has continued to increase," Hollingsworth says. "So even while detection and treatment are increasing and more tumors have become detectable, this study suggests a disconnect because we are not decreasing mortality rates."In addition to Hollingsworth and Hollenbeck, researchers on the study were David C. Miller, M.D., clinical lecturer in the Department of Urology; and Stephanie Daignault, M.S., a biostatistician with the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The research was supported by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health, and funding from the Johan and Suzanne Munn Endowed Research Fund of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Citation: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Sept. 20, 2006, "Rising Incidence of Small Renal Masses: A Need to Reassess Treatment Effect."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "More Kidney Cancer Is Detected And Treated Early, Yet Death Rate Rises." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920093351.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2006, September 20). More Kidney Cancer Is Detected And Treated Early, Yet Death Rate Rises. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920093351.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "More Kidney Cancer Is Detected And Treated Early, Yet Death Rate Rises." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920093351.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins