Kidney Cancer UK are pleased to be able to host this survey on behalf of Miss Maxine Tran, MBBS PhD

Aims of the research

To develop a new clinical tool using tumour growth rate, tumour characteristics and patient data to allow personalised management of patients with kidney cancer.


Kidney cancer affects 12,500 patients every year in the UK, and the incidence is increasing. About half of cases are diagnosed by scans performed for other purposes.  Traditionally, surgery is offered to most patients with kidney tumours and involves either removing the tumour with part of the kidney (partial nephrectomy) or with the whole kidney (radical nephrectomy).  Either technique is associated with a 1 in 20 risk of major complication, and 1 in 200 risk of death.  There has been a rapid increase in the number of operations, and concern regarding the ‘one size fits all’ over-treatment of patients.

Increased use of routine imaging and early disease detection strategies promoted by the NHS will lead to more patients being diagnosed with small kidney tumours.  Not all kidney tumours are the same.  Approximately 3 in 10 tumours are benign, and of the remaining 7 that are cancerous, about 4 will be non-aggressive in nature.  The potential to benefit or to suffer harm from treatment also varies between different individuals.  There is currently no clinical tool available to predict the likelihood of tumour growth or the likelihood that a patient with a small kidney cancer will benefit from surgery.

Design and methods

This research has two stages.  The first stage is to develop a novel predictive tool that incorporates tumour, patient, and imaging characteristics to provide information on tumour behaviour.  We will use data from patients on active surveillance (to provide information on the natural history of different tumours) and surgically treated patients (to provide information on complication risk of surgery and recurrence risk of the tumour removed).

The second stage is to use this tool in a prospective clinical trial to see whether or not it helps guide patients along individualised treatment pathways, thus preventing unnecessary treatment in those that are likely to have no benefit.  We hope to learn if using this tool leads to a reduction in surgery for benign and non-aggressive tumours.

Thank you for taking part in this survey.

Maxine Tran.

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