Stage-specific conditional survival in renal cell carcinoma after nephrectomy

Joseph G. Cheaib, Hiten D. Patel, Michael H. Johnson, Michael A. Gorin, Elliott R. Haut, Joseph K. Canner, Mohamad E. Allaf, Phillip M. Pierorazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives: Conditional survival (CS) represents the probability that a cancer patient will survive some additional number of years, given that the patient has already survived for a certain period of time. CS estimates, therefore, serve as better measures of survival probability compared to standard estimates as they incorporate patient survivorship. Stage-specific CS has not been widely investigated in the context of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) after nephrectomy. We aimed to examine this phenomenon. Materials and methods: We analyzed retrospective data on a population-based cohort of 87,225 surgically-treated RCC patients extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (2004–2015) and on a similar validation cohort of 1,642 patients from our institution (1995–2015). 5-year cancer-specific CS estimates stratified by stage were obtained using the Kaplan–Meier method. Multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed to evaluate the possible variation in risk of cancer-specific mortality by stage at nephrectomy and with increasing postoperative survivorship. Results: 5-year cancer-specific survival rates at time of nephrectomy for stage I, II, III, and IV patients in the population-based cohort were 97.4%, 89.9%, 77.9%, and 26.7%, respectively. Improvement in 5-year CS was mainly observed in surviving patients with advanced-stage disease; given 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years of survivorship after nephrectomy, the subsequent 5-year cancer-specific survival rates were, respectively, 79.3% (+1.8% increase over previous survival probability), 81.3% (+2.5%), 83.3% (+2.5%), 84.3% (+1.2%), and 85.1% (+1.0%) for stage III, and 34.6% (+29.6%), 42.5% (+22.8%), 49.0% (+15.3%), 55.7% (+13.7%), and 58.6% (+5.2%) for stage IV. A similar trend was established in the validation cohort. Findings were confirmed upon multivariable analyses. Conclusions: CS after nephrectomy for RCC varies dramatically by stage of disease. Gains in CS over time occur primarily among patients with advanced-stage disease. Stage-specific CS estimates can help urologists better plan postoperative surveillance for RCC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6.e1-6.e7
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Neoplasm staging
  • Nephrectomy
  • Postoperative period
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Surveillance
  • Survival rate


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