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Background The long-term oncologic outcome of laparoscopic radical nephrectomy compared with that of open radical nephrectomy remains unclear. A few case series with follow-up periods longer than 5 years are reported in the literature. The existing literature is focused primarily on early and intermediate outcomes of laparoscopic radical nephrectomy. This study aimed to assess the outcome of laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for localized disease compared with open surgery.
Methods The search strategy was designed to identify observational and experimental studies conducted in any country that investigated the long-term oncologic outcomes of laparoscopic radical nephrectomy compared with open surgical resection, published in any language. We searched the MEDLINE (1996 to May 2010), EMBASE (1996 to May 2010), and Cochrane databases using the OVID interrogation software. The study included 77 men from the Dundee cohort referred for clinically localized renal cell carcinoma who underwent open or laparoscopic radical nephrectomy between January 1998 and 2004, with at least 5 years of follow-up evaluation for each. These men were included in a metaanalysis of observational studies reporting on 438 patients with a mean or median follow-up period of 5 years. The data was analyzed using Minitab statistical software and Cochrane RevMan 5.4 using the random model.
Results The five studies (including the Dundee cohort) investigating the effects of the laparoscopic approach on renal cancer management showed no significant differences in 5 years survival between laparoscopic and open surgical approaches for the resection of kidney cancer. The resulting pooled odds ratio (OR) did not differ markedly between the two groups (pooled OR, 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-1.39). Similar to overall survival, the laparoscopic and open surgical approaches for renal cancer surgery did not differ significantly (Figs. 4, 5). The pooled ORs for the two outcomes were 0.76 (955 CI, 0.36-1.56) for laparoscopic surgery and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.32-1.69) for open surgery. The quality of the studies was poor. The reported designs of the studies were prone to selection, confounding, and reporting biases.
Conclusions The current retrospective data (observational studies) comparing long-term oncologic outcomes between laparoscopic and open radical nephrectomy did not demonstrate any significant differences during a follow-up period of 5 years.