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This article is the authors' final version prior to publication in European Urology, February 2021.

The published version is available at Copyright © Chandrasekar et al.


CONTEXT: With the addition of active surveillance and thermal ablation (TA) to the urologist's established repertoire of partial (PN) and radical nephrectomy (RN) as first-line management options for localized renal cell carcinoma (RCC), appropriate treatment decision-making has become increasingly nuanced.

OBJECTIVE: To critically review the treatment options for localized, nonrecurrent RCC; to highlight the patient, renal function, tumor, and provider factors that influence treatment decisions; and to provide a framework to conceptualize that decision-making process.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A collaborative critical review of the medical literature was conducted.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: We identify three key decision points when managing localized RCC: (1) decision for surveillance versus treatment, (2) decision regarding treatment modality (TA, PN, or RN), and (3) decision on surgical approach (open vs minimally invasive). In evaluating factors that influence these treatment decisions, we elaborate on patient, renal function, tumor, and provider factors that either directly or indirectly impact each decision point. As current nomograms, based on preselected patient datasets, perform poorly in prospective settings, these tools should be used with caution. Patient decision aids are an underutilized tool in decision-making.

CONCLUSIONS: Localized RCC requires highly nuanced treatment decision-making, balancing patient- and tumor-specific clinical variables against indirect structural influences to provide optimal patient care.

PATIENT SUMMARY: With expanding treatment options for localized kidney cancer, treatment decision is highly nuanced and requires shared decision-making. Patient decision aids may be helpful in the treatment discussion.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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