New technique developed to treat kidney cancer

Added 11/11/2010

Nurse talking to patient

A new type of surgery to treat kidney cancer has been developed at the University of Southern California which could pave the way for more effective treatment of the disease.

Current surgical techniques used to treat kidney cancer involve stopping the flow of blood, which can be damaging and stop the kidney from functioning properly. The new keyhole, robotic surgery will enable surgeons to remove kidney cancer tumours without stopping the flow of blood, thus protecting the patient from reduced kidney function.

The new technique was first used nine months ago and it’s since been performed successfully on 50 kidney cancer patients from the USA, the UK, India and Hong Kong. Further studies need to be conducted to compare kidney cancer patients that have been treated using the new method of surgery and those that have undergone established methods. Kidney function and survival rates will be closely monitored.

Dr Gill of the University of Southern California commented on the new kidney surgery technique: "Our initial analyses suggest that patients having the new type of surgery may have superior outcomes and better kidney function."

Cancer Research UK welcomes the new method to treat kidney cancer. Surgery is the main method used to treat kidney cancer so any new developments could lead to a better quality of life in patients.

A spokesman for Cancer Research UK said: "Surgery is the main form of treatment for kidney cancer which has not spread to other organs and surgeons are continuously trying to refine their methods. Cancer Research UK welcomes new techniques, such as this one, which can improve the results of surgery and quality of life after the operation."