Clinical characteristics of renal cell carcinoma in patients under the age of 40


Background: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) most commonly afflicts older patients while those 40 years old or younger represent an uncommon population. We aim to describe the tumor characteristics and treatment patterns for young kidney cancer patients utilizing the National Cancer Database.

Methods: The National Cancer Database Participant User File for RCC was queried from 2004 to 2016. Demographics and treatment trends were analyzed and compared between a young cohort, those aged 40 and younger vs. a conventional cohort, those older than 40. Pathology analyzed included clear cell, papillary, chromophobe, RCC not otherwise specified, and miscellaneous uncategorized. Subanalysis was performed for patients with localized disease and treatment type.

Results: Amongst the 514,879 patients diagnosed with RCC, 4.7% were ≤40 years old. RCC for individuals ≤40 has a higher proportion of female gender, non-Caucasian race, and chromophobe pathology, relative to the conventional cohort. Younger patients more often presented with cT1 disease with decreased rates of metastasis. Risk of 30-day readmission after surgery was similar between cohorts. For patients with cT1-2N0M0 disease, there was a decreasing rate of radical nephrectomy and increasing rate of partial nephrectomy; however, the conventional cohort had an increasing rate of percutaneous ablation while this remained stable in the younger cohort.

Conclusion: Young RCC patients had a higher proportion of female gender, chromophobe histology, and favorable tumor characteristics. Partial nephrectomy has seen a dramatic increase in application regardless of age while percutaneous ablation increased only in the conventional cohort.