In years past, kidney cancer was treated immediately after it was detected. But now we know that not all kidney cancer needs to be treated right away; some small renal masses (SRM; less than 4 cm) may never need treatment. Much of the reassuring evidence about SRM has come from the multicenter Delayed Intervention and Surveillance for Small Renal Mass (DISSRM) registry, established at Hopkins in 2009, and now led by urologic oncologist Nirmish Singla, M.D., M.Sc.
Led by Brady resident Tony Su, M.D., a recent study used data from DISSRM to compare the costs and health outcomes of different treatment options for patients with SRM, including Active Surveillance (AS), partial nephrectomy, radical nephrectomy, and thermal ablation. “We found that AS is safe and cost- effective in comparison to immediate intervention, and may particularly benefit those harboring very small masses (less than 2 cm),” said Su. This work was published in The Journal of Urology.