Objective: To evaluate the prognostic impact of early recurrence (within 12 months) after surgery on cancer-specific survival (CSS) of patients with localized clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Methods: Patients with surgically treated localized ccRCC were studied. Using the Kaplan-Meier method, we calculated CSS; by univariate and multivariate models we analyzed the association of early recurrence with cancer-related mortality. Results: We identified 259 patients with pT1–4/NX/0M0 ccRCC treated between February 1981 and September 2009; of 66 (25.5%) with disease recurrence, 29 (43.9%) had early relapse. Overall, 43 patients (16.6%) died from ccRCC. The 5- and 10-year CSS for those without, late and early recurrence was 98.5 and 96.5%, 53 and 39.8%, and 23 and 23%, respectively (p < 0.0001). In the multivariate Cox model, pT stage (p = 0.01) and early recurrence (p < 0.0001) independently predicted CSS. Conclusions: Recurrent disease after localized ccRCC confers a poor prognosis, especially if detected within 12 months after surgery. Thus, this criterion should be included as an independent risk factor for cancer-related mortality.

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