Comorbidity and frailty assessment in renal cell carcinoma patients

Abstract

Purpose

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) incidence has considerably increased during the last decades without any real impact on age-standardized mortality. It questions the relevance of aggressive treatments carrying potential side effects. Conservative management should be considered for frail patients. Comorbidity and frailty assessment in RCC patients is paramount before engaging a treatment.

Methods

Narrative, non-systematic review based on PubMed and EMBASE search with the terms “renal neoplasm”, “elderly, frail”, “comorbidities”, “active surveillance”, “metastatic”. The selection was restricted to articles written in English.

Results

Comorbidity and frailty assessment go along with the cancer-specific aggressivity and intervention risks assessment. In localized disease, several standardized algorithms offer patient health evaluation to define how suitable the patient would be for curative treatment. The pre-operative American Society of Anesthesiologists and the age-adjusted Charlson’s scores are the most widely used. At the metastatic stage, drug combinations based on immunotherapies and targeted therapies improved cancer outcomes at the price of significant toxicities. Frail patients are not always suitable for such strategies. Commonly used scores like the International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center integrate features to define patients’ risk groups, more specifically the Karnofsky Performance Score is an easy way to document the frailty.

Conclusions

Comorbidity and frailty have to be assessed at any stage of the RCC disease based on a standardized scoring system to define the most suitable treatment strategy ranging from surveillance to aggressive treatment.

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J Courcier: manuscript writing; A De La Taille: manuscript editing; N Lassau: manuscript editing; A Ingels: project development, manuscript writing/editing.

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Correspondence to Alexandre Ingels.

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Jean COURCIER None. Alexandre DE LA TAILLE Intuitive Surgical. Nathalie LASSAU Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Alexandre INGELS Intuitive Surgical, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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Courcier, J., De La Taille, A., Lassau, N. et al. Comorbidity and frailty assessment in renal cell carcinoma patients. World J Urol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03632-6

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Keywords

  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Frailty
  • Comorbidity
  • Active surveillance
  • Adverse events