Role of Percutaneous Ablation in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Publication Date: January 5, 2020


In patients with small renal tumors (stage T1a), percutaneous thermal ablation is a safe and effective treatment with fewer complications than nephrectomy and acceptable long-term oncological and survival outcomes. (C, Moderate)

In selected patients with suspected T1a RCC, percutaneous thermal ablation should be offered over active surveillance. (C, Moderate)

Percutaneous biopsy of small renal masses is recommended before or during percutaneous ablation, whenever possible. (C, Moderate)

In high-risk patients with T1b RCC who are not surgical candidates, percutaneous thermal ablation may be an appropriate treatment option; however, further research in this area is required. (D, Weak)

Percutaneous ablation of oligometastatic RCC may be appropriate in patients with surgically resectable primary RCC who are not candidates for metastasectomy. (D, Weak)

Radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and microwave ablation are all appropriate modalities for thermal ablation, and method of ablation should be left to the discretion of the operating physician. (D, Weak)

Recommendation Grading




Role of Percutaneous Ablation in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Authoring Organization

Publication Month/Year

January 5, 2020

Document Type


External Publication Status


Country of Publication


Document Objectives

In this document, the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) states its position on the use of ablation for the management of RCC, with a focus on small renal masses, biopsy, and cases of oligometastatic disease. 

Inclusion Criteria

Female, Male, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Older adult

Health Care Settings

Hospital, Outpatient, Radiology services

Intended Users

Nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant


Management, Treatment

Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D007674 - Kidney Diseases, D007680 - Kidney Neoplasms


renal cell carcinoma (RCC), ablation, renal cell carcinoma, renal_cell_carcinoma

Source Citation

Society of Interventional Radiology Position Statement on the Role of Percutaneous Ablation in Renal Cell Carcinoma

Morris, Christopher S. et al.
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Volume 31, Issue 2, 189 - 194.e3

Supplemental Methodology Resources

Data Supplement