Among 315 cases of parenchymal renal carcinoma resected between 1975 and 1985, 19 cases (6 per cent) of sarcomatoid carcinoma were identified. All patients were symptomatic or had a palpable mass in the flank at hospitalization. Tumor stage generally was advanced at operation and metastases were detected in 8 patients (Robson stage IV), all of whom died after an average postoperative survival of 8 months. In 3 patients there was tumor invasion of the renal vein (Robson stage IIIA), and they died after an average postoperative period of 11 months. Of 4 patients with perinephric fat invasion (Robson stage II) 2 died of cancer after an average survival of 15 months and 2 are alive with no evidence of disease for an average of 73 months postoperatively. In these later 2 cases the sarcomatoid areas constituted less than 5 per cent of the entire tumor and the remaining tumor was low grade carcinoma. In 3 patients adequate followup is not available and 1 was lost to followup. This histological variant of parenchymal cell carcinoma is a high grade malignancy with a poor prognosis. Operative treatment appears to be ineffective in modifying the behavior of the tumor.
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