A study looking at 3 different treatments for kidney cancer (CONSERVE)

Cancer type:

Kidney cancer





This study looked at whether people would consider taking part in a larger trial comparing surgery, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and cryotherapy. This type of study is called a feasibility study.

This study was supported by Cancer Research UK.

More about this trial

Doctors often use surgery to remove cancer from a kidney. This is called a partial nephrectomy. Although this works well there are risks and complications such as bleeding. 

Both these treatments have fewer risks and complications than surgery.

But doctors weren’t sure if they were as good as surgery at getting rid of all the cancer. To find this out researchers needed to compare these 3 treatments in a large randomised trial

The aims of this study were to find out

  • How many people would agree to take part in a randomised trial
  • Why people were willing to or not to take part

Summary of results

The study team found that people were unwilling to take part in a randomised trial comparing these 3 treatments. 

Of the 74 people asked to join the study, 17 agreed to. 

The reasons people gave for not wanting to join the trial included 

  • a preference for a certain treatment 
  • seeing some treatments as having either more risks or benefits so they didn’t want to leave the choice to chance

The team gave the people at least 24 hours to consider if they wanted to join. Some people didn’t want to wait that long to make a decision about their treatment. 

The study team concluded that the unwillingness of people to join this study should be considered when they design future trials comparing treatments for kidney cancer.

The study team have also used these results to set up the SURAB trial comparing treatments for kidney cancer.

We have based this summary on information from the research team. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) or published in a medical journal yet. The figures we quote above were provided by the research team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Mr Naeem Soomro

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/11/036.

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Nilesh was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011

A picture of Nilesh

“I was really pleased to take part in a clinical trial.”

Last reviewed:

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