Radio-frequency ablation helps preserve nephrons in salvage of failed microwave ablation for a renal cancer in a solitary kidney

Scott M. Castle, Nelson Salas, Raymond J. Leveillee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Recurrent tumors after renal ablative therapy present a challenge for clinicians. New ablative modalities, including microwave ablation (MWA), have very limited experience in methods of retreating ablation failures. Additionally, in MWA, no long-term outcomes have been reported. In patients having local tumor recurrence, options for surveillance or surgical salvage must be assessed. We present a case to help assess radio-frequency ablation (RFA) for salvage of failed MWA. We report a 63-year-old male with a 4.33-cm renal mass in a solitary kidney undergoing laparoscopic MWA with simultaneous peripheral fiber-optic thermometry (Lumasense, Santa Clara, CA, USA) as primary treatment. Follow-up contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan was performed at 1 and 4.3 months post-op with failure occurring at 4.3 months as evidenced by persistent enhancement. Subsequently, a laparoscopic RFA (LRFA) with simultaneous peripheral fiber-optic thermometry was performed as salvage therapy. Clinical and radiological follow-up with a contrast-enhanced CT scan at 1 and 11 months post-RFA showed no evidence of disease or enhancement. Creatinine values pre-MWA, post-MWA, and post-RFA were 1.01, 1.14, and 1.17 mg/ml, respectively. This represents a 15% decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (79 to 67 ml/min) post-MWA and no change in eGFR post-RFA. Local kidney tumor recurrence often requires additional therapy and a careful decisionmaking process. It is desirable not only to preserve kidney function in patients with a solitary kidney or chronic renal insufficiency, but also to achieve cancer control. We show the feasibility of RFA for salvage treatment of local recurrence of a T1b tumor in a solitary kidney post-MWA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-44
Number of pages3
JournalUrology Annals
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Ablation
  • kidney
  • microwave
  • renal neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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