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Wendler, Johann J.; Pech, Maciej; Fischbach, Frank; Jürgens, Julian; Friebe, Björn; Baumunk, Daniel; Porsch, Markus; Blaschke, Simon; Schindele, Daniel; Siedentopf, Sandra; Ricke, Jens; Schostak, Martin; Köllermann, Jens; Liehr, Uwe B. (2018): Initial Assessment of the Efficacy of Irreversible Electroporation in the Focal Treatment of Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma With Delayed-interval Kidney Tumor Resection (Irreversible Electroporation of Kidney Tumors Before Partial Nephrectomy [IRENE] Trial-An Ablate-and-Resect Pilot Study). In: Urology, Vol. 114: pp. 224-232
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy of irreversible electroporation (IRE) ablation of pT1a renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the first prospective, monocentric phase 2a pilot ablate-and-resect study (Irreversible Electroporation of Kidney Tumors Before Partial Nephrectomy [IRENE] trial). It has been postulated that focal IRE can bring about complete ablation of soft-tissue tumors with protection of healthy peritumoral tissue and anatomic structures. PATIENTS AND METHODS The first 7 study patients with biopsy-proven pT1a RCC (15-39 mm) underwent IRE. Percutaneous computed tomography-guided IRE was performed with electrocardiographic triggering under general anesthesia and deep muscle paralysis with 3-6 monopolar electrodes positioned within the renal tumor. Twenty-eight days later, the tumor region was completely resected to confirm tumor destruction pathologically. Individual results for these patients are displayed, described, and discussed. RESULTS Technical feasibility was attained in all patients, but electrode placement and ablation were complex, with a mean overall procedure time of 129 minutes. There were no major complications. Partial kidney resection was performed in 5 patients, and radical nephrectomy was performed in 2 patients because of central tumor location and ablation areas. Resections revealed by tumor, node, and metastasis classification of the International Union for Cancer Control 2017 no residual tumor as complete ablation in 4 cases (ypT0V0N0Pn0R0) and microscopic residual tumor cells as incomplete ablation in the other 3 cases (ypT1aV0N0Pn0R1). CONCLUSION Renal percutaneous IRE appears to be a safe treatment for pT1a RCC but requires substantial procedural effort. Resection specimens of the ablation zone revealed a high rate of microscopic incomplete ablation 4 weeks after IRE. According to these initial study results, curative, kidney-sparing ablation of T1a RCC appears possible but needs technical improvement to ensure complete ablation.