According to researchers, that three years on, a group of kidney cancer patients have had no recurrence of their disease, thanks to a new procedure. Researchers at the University of Mississippi have developed a new operation for kidney cancer, called interventional-MRI renal cryosurgery. The procedure relies on magnetic resonance imaging to guide a surgical probe while removing cancerous tissue. So high-tech is this procedure, that the surgeon could demonstrate his 60 operation to a group of colleagues in Italy using telemedicine.
The team now reports on progress among the first 60 patients, since April 1998 when the first operation was performed. In all, 80 tumours have been treated and there has been no recurrence at the treated sites. Better still, kidney function has been preserved in all the patients (while conventional surgery can lead to loss of function). It's an excellent result, for many of these patients would formerly have faced the spread of the primary tumour. A few of the patients, however, needed more than one treatment - further development of the procedure should, hopefully, make it a 'one off' procedure which can be offered more widely.