Stereotactic radiotherapy is an emerging treatment option for patients with inoperable renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Haemorrhage has not previously been reported to occur as a result of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) to the kidney for primary RCC. We report an acute haemorrhage in a patient who received only one of three planned fractions of SBRT as part of a clinical trial.

A 74 year old female had a left renal mass under observation for 4 years, during which time she was imaged repeatedly using ultrasound and CT scans. There has been no evidence of metastases, and the lesion has demonstrated a steady pattern of growth over the 4-year period. Fine needle aspiration histologically confirmed RCC. Following a multidisciplinary review, the patient was recommended for SBRT as she was not considered a surgical candidate. Treatment was planned for an ablative 42Gray (Gy) to be delivered in 3 fractions at 14Gy/fraction as part of a clinical trial. Our patient presented to the emergency department (ED) suffering left flank pain, fever and vomiting within 3 h of the first fraction of SBRT. CT showed the mass to have markedly increased in size, measuring 8.7 × 8.1 × 7.0 cm, from 6.5 × 5.4 × 5.6 cm. It was reported as an internal haemorrhage into the malignancy. The patient was admitted for analgesia, anti-pyretics, and transfusion of 2 units of packed red blood cells. The patient recovered without any further intervention but radiotherapy was discontinued. The patient was alive and free from disease progression two years after the aborted treatment.

Such events, though rare, are potentially serious, and therefore clinicians should be aware of such treatment related complications.

BMC cancer. 2019 Jul 08*** epublish ***

Liam A Hilleary, Christopher Wratten, Shankar Siva, Jenna Hilleary, Jarad M Martin

Calvary Mater Hospital, Locked Mail Bag 7 Hunter Region Mail Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, 2310, Australia. ., Calvary Mater Hospital, Locked Mail Bag 7 Hunter Region Mail Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, 2310, Australia., Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag 5m A’Beckett St, Melbourne, Victoria, 8006, Australia.