Kidney mass: Identifying & Defining Necessary Evaluation & therapY

Improving care for T1 renal masses (localized, ≤ 7cm)



The kidneys are vital organs of the body and are about the size of a fist. They are important in removing water, salt, and waste, regulating blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells. Masses (or growths, lesions, tumors) that form on the kidneys can be cancer or not cancer (benign). Benign tumors will not spread to other parts of the body.

For masses found to be cancer, there are several features that determine the amount of risk that is present. The pathology (or tumor type) indicates what the cancer cells look like. The grade of the tumor, scored 1 to 4, quantifies how aggressive the cells look like under the microscope). The stage is recorded using the TNM system, which evaluates the extent of cancer in the body. T stage is based on the tumor size and extent of local spread; N stage is based on cancer spread to the lymph nodes near to the kidney; and M stage is based on cancer spread to other organs (or metastasis).

The type of treatment recommended to each patient is based on the kidney mass size and stage and the patient’s overall health and condition. Options include: surgery – to remove the mass with part or all of the kidney; ablation – to treat the cancer cells without removing any part of the kidney; or surveillance – to closely monitor the kidney mass without treatment unless the risk of the cancer increases.

MUSIC-KIDNEY (Kidney mass: Identifying and Defining Necessary Evaluation and therapy) is a quality improvement initiative focused on improving care for localized renal mass patients throughout the state of Michigan.


What is MUSIC KIDNEY working toward?

We are currently focused on the following goals:

  • Examine and improve the quality of care patients in Michigan receive for their localized renal masses ≤ 7 cm in size (RM≤7cm)
  • Reduce the overall burden of treatment for patients with RM≤7cm
    • Avoid treatment for patients with benign renal mass and others who would not benefit from treatment
  • Improve communication to enhance management strategies of RM≤7cm
    • Optimize clinical evaluation and staging for better treatment recommendations

With more than 30 urologists (and growing) dedicated to contributing data to MUSIC-KIDNEY, our vision is to make Michigan #1 in Kidney Mass Care.


Download a KIDNEY placard (in PDF format)

To download a copy of the KIDNEY Tumor Complexity placard, please click on the box below:

Download KIDNEY Placard

To download a copy of the Renal Mass Chest Imaging Recommendations placard, please click on the box below:

Download Renal Mass Chest Imaging Recommendations Placard

If you have further questions or concerns regarding MUSIC KIDNEY, please contact the MUSIC Coordinating Center at 855.456.2035 or