Optimal Surveillance Strategies After Surgery for Renal Cell Carcinoma

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One in 5 patients who undergo surgical resection for clinically localized renal cell carcinoma (RCC) develop local and/or distant recurrences which, when detected early, may be amenable to salvage local and systemic therapies. When considering that approximately half of these recurrences will occur during the first 2 years, a clear rationale exists for optimizing surveillance strategies after surgery. Although there is a notable dearth of high-quality data on this subject, clinical principles can guide clinicians as they attempt to balance the burden of surveillance strategies with potential clinical benefit. The objective of this review is to summarize the evidence regarding optimal surveillance protocols after surgery for RCC. We provide an overview of the rationale supporting surveillance after surgery, a summary of the American Urological Association and NCCN guidelines, reasons against routine long-term surveillance, surveillance costs, and ancillary issues, such as the utility of bone scan, PET/CT scan, and surveillance after thermoablation.

Correspondence: Mark D. Tyson, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Urologic Surgery, A1302 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232-2765. E-mail: mark.tyson@vanderbilt.edu
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