Robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy for kidney cancer

Ontario Health
Record ID 32018011339
Authors' objectives: Robotic-assisted surgery has been used in Ontario hospitals for over a decade, but there is no public funding for the robotic systems or the disposables required to perform robotic-assisted surgeries (“robotics disposables”). We conducted a health technology assessment of robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy for the treatment of kidney cancer (RAPN). Nephrectomy may be radical (the surgical removal of an entire kidney, nearby adrenal gland and lymph nodes, and other surrounding tissue) or partial (the surgical removal of part of a kidney or a kidney tumour). Partial nephrectomy is the gold standard surgical treatment for early kidney cancer. Our assessment included an evaluation of the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of RAPN, as well as the 5-year budget impact for the Ontario Ministry of Health of publicly funding RAPN. It also looked at the experiences, preferences, and values of people with kidney cancer, as well as those of health care professionals who provide surgical treatment for kidney cancer.
Authors' results and conclusions: RAPN may improve clinical outcomes and reduce complications. The cost-effectiveness of RAPN for people with kidney cancer is unknown. We estimate that the 5-year budget impact of publicly funding RAPN for people with kidney cancer would be $1.58 million. People we spoke with who had lived experience of kidney cancer and had undergone RAPN reported favourably on their experiences, particularly in terms of the quick recovery, short hospital stay, and minimal pain. Conversely, those who had undergone an open procedure spoke of difficulties including pain, complications, and increased length of hospital stay. Surgeons emphasized the importance of RAPN being made available to people with kidney cancer because of the increased risks and complications associated with open partial nephrectomy.
Authors' recommendations: Ontario Health, based on guidance from the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy for kidney cancer.
Authors' methods: We performed a systematic literature search of the clinical evidence to retrieve systematic reviews and selected and reported results from five reviews that were recent and relevant to our research questions. We used the Risk of Bias in Systematic Reviews (ROBIS) tool to assess the risk of bias of each included systematic review. We assessed the quality of the body of evidence reported in the selected reviews according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group criteria. We performed a systematic economic literature search. We also analyzed the 5-year budget impact of publicly funding robotics disposables for RAPN for people with kidney cancer in Ontario. To contextualize the potential value of RAPN for people with kidney cancer, we spoke with people with lived experience of kidney cancer who had undergone either open or robotic-assisted nephrectomy, and we spoke with urologic surgeons who perform nephrectomy.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2023
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Canada
Pubmed ID: 38028531
MeSH Terms
  • Kidney Neoplasms
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures
  • Nephrectomy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Kidney Neoplasms; Laparoscopy; Nephrectomy; Robotic Surgical Procedures
Organisation Name: Ontario Health
Contact Address: 525 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2L3
Contact Name: Nancy Sikich, Director Health Technology Assessment
Contact Email:
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This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.