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Cryoablation, Cryoprobe, Radio frequency ablation, renal cell carcinoma
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. Nephron sparing resection (partial nephrectomy) has been the “gold standard” for the treatment of resectable disease. With the widespread use of cross sectional imaging techniques, more cases of renal cell cancers are detected at an early stage, i.e. stage 1A or 1B. This has provided an impetus for expanding the nephron sparing options and especially, percutaneous ablative techniques. Percutaneous ablation for RCC is now performed as a standard therapeutic nephron-sparing option in patients who are poor candidates for resection or when there is a need to preserve renal function due to comorbid conditions, multiple renal cell carcinomas, and/or heritable renal cancer syndromes. During the last few years, percutaneous cryoablation has been gaining acceptance as a curative treatment option for small renal cancers. Clinical studies to date indicate that cryoablation is a safe and effective therapeutic method with acceptable short and long term outcomes and with a low risk, in the appropriate setting. In addition it seems to offer some advantages over radio frequency ablation (RFA) and other thermal ablation techniques for renal masses.