Renal Cancer pp 197-203 | Cite as

History of Renal Surgery for Cancer

  • Brendan M. Browne
  • Karim Joseph Hamawy


Treatments for lower urinary tract pathologies have existed for several centuries, but surgery on the kidney and upper tract only arose after the development of anesthesia and antiseptic technique in the late nineteenth century. The first planned nephrectomy in 1969 by Gustav Simon opened the possibility for surgical resection of kidneys for persistent pyelonephritis, fistulas, stones, and, most notably, cancer. Advances in the field came with growing pains, including catastrophic intraoperative complications, postoperative infections, and high mortality rates. Nevertheless, significant progress was made in the early twentieth century including the rise of partial nephrectomy and now minimally invasive surgical approaches. Better understanding of tumor biology, renal anatomy, and surgical technique has improved the perioperative and oncologic outcomes as well as patient recovery such that surgery remains the mainstay therapy for renal neoplasms.


History Renal cancer Radical nephrectomy Partial nephrectomy Renal cancer classification 


  1. 1.
    Poletajew S, Antoniewicz AA, Borówka A. Kidney removal: the past, presence, and perspectives: a historical review. Urol J. 2010;7(4):215–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Simon G. Chirurgie der Nieren. Stuttgart Ferdinand Enke; 1876.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bovee JW. The progress of ureteral surgery. Am J Obstet Dis Women Child. 1904;49:742–57.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Langenbuch C. Nephrectomy for malignant disease. Berl Klin Wochenschr. 1877;14:337–40.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gross S. Nephrectomy: its indications and contraindications. Am J Med Sci. 1885;179:79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Voelcker F. Lichtenberg v. Pyelographie (Röntgenographic des Nierenbeckens nach kollargolfüllung). München Med Wochnschr. 1906;53:105.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Osborne ED, Sutherland CG, Scholl AJ, Rowntree LG. Landmark article Feb 10, 1923: roentgenography of urinary tract during excretion of sodium iodid. By Earl D. Osborne, Charles G. Sutherland, Albert J. Scholl, Jr. and Leonard G. Rowntree. JAMA. 1983;250(20):2848–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wagner FB. Arteriography in renal diagnosis; preliminary report and critical evaluation. J Urol. 1946;56(6):625–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lindblom K. Percutaneous puncture of renal cysts and tumors. Acta Radiol. 1946;27(1):66–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Smith PG, Rush TW, Evans AT. An evaluation of translumbar arteriography. J Urol. 1951;65(5):911–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kocher T, Langhans T. Eine nephrotomie wegen nierensarkom. Dtsch Z Chir. 1878;9:312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chute R, Soutter L, Kerr WS. The value of the thoracoabdominal incision in the removal of kidney tumors. N Engl J Med. 1949;241(24):951–60, illust.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stevens WE. Diagnosis and surgical treatment of malignant tumors of the kidney. Cal State J Med. 1923;21(2):60–2.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Foley FB, Mulvaney WP, Richardson EJ, Victor I. Radical nephrectomy for neoplasms. J Urol. 1952;68(1):39–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Walters W, Priestley JT. Surgery of the inferior vena cava: clinical and experimental studies. Ann Surg. 1934;99(1):167–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Robson CJ, Churchill BM, Anderson W. The results of radical nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. J Urol. 1969;101(3):297–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Miriel G. Summarized thoughts on the importance of a diagnosis. Paris; 1810.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Robin C. Memoire sur l’epithelioma du rein et sur lees minces failments granuleux des tubes uriniparees expulses aves les urines. Gaz Hop Civ Mil. 1855;28:186–203.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Grawitz P. Die sogenannten lipome der niere. Arch Path Anat Physiol. 1883;93:39–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Young HH. Neoplasms of the urogenital tract. Young’s practice of urology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company; 1926.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Delahunt B. History of the development of the classification of renal cell neoplasia. Clin Lab Med. 2005;25:231–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Konig G. Practical treatment of diseases of the kidney as explained by case histories (in German). Leipzig: C. Cnobloch; 1826.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kovacs G, Akhtar M, Beckwith BJ, Bugert P, Cooper CS, Delahunt B, et al. The Heidelberg classification of renal cell tumours. J Pathol. 1997;183(2):131–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Störkel S, Eble JN, Adlakha K, Amin M, Blute ML, Bostwick DG, et al. Classification of renal cell carcinoma: Workgroup No. 1. Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). Cancer. 1997;80(5):987–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Moch H, Cubilla AL, Humphrey PA, Reuter VE, Ulbright TM. The 2016 WHO classification of tumours of the urinary system and male genital organs-part a: renal, penile, and testicular tumours. Eur Urol. 2016;70(1):93–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wells S. Successful removal of two circum-renal tumours. Br Med J. 1884;1:758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Czerny H. Ueber nierenextirpation bietr. Klin Khirurg. 1890;6:485.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bell E. A classification of renal tumors with observations of the frequency of the various types. J Urol. 1938;39:328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vermooten V. Indications for conservative surgery in certain renal tumors: a study based on the growth pattern of the cell carcinoma. J Urol. 1950;64(2):200–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Zinman L, Dowd JB. Partial nephrectomy in renal cell carcinoma. Surg Clin North Am. 1967;47(3):685–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Herr HW. Partial nephrectomy for unilateral renal carcinoma and a normal contralateral kidney: 10-year followup. J Urol. 1999;161(1):33–4. discussion 4-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fergany AF, Hafez KS, Novick AC. Long-term results of nephron sparing surgery for localized renal cell carcinoma: 10-year followup. J Urol. 2000;163(2):442–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mukamel E, Konichezky M, Engelstein D, Servadio C. Incidental small renal tumors accompanying clinically overt renal cell carcinoma. J Urol. 1988;140(1):22–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Licht MR, Novick AC. Nephron sparing surgery for renal cell carcinoma. J Urol. 1993;149(1):1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Clayman RV, Kavoussi LR, Soper NJ, Dierks SM, Meretyk S, Darcy MD, et al. Laparoscopic nephrectomy: initial case report. J Urol. 1991;146(2):278–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cadeddu JA, Ono Y, Clayman RV, Barrett PH, Janetschek G, Fentie DD, et al. Laparoscopic nephrectomy for renal cell cancer: evaluation of efficacy and safety: a multicenter experience. Urology. 1998;52(5):773–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Permpongkosol S, Bagga HS, Romero FR, Solomon SB, Kavoussi LR. Trends in the operative management of renal tumors over a 14-year period. BJU Int. 2006;98(4):751–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Garrison FH. An introduction to the history of medicine. Philadelphia/London: W.B. Saunders Co; 1913.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brendan M. Browne
    • 1
  • Karim Joseph Hamawy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of UrologyLahey Hospital and Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations