Latest Research on Kidney Cancer

Executive Summary

Several latest research studies have been conducted to seek more information on kidney cancer, related prevention methods, diagnostic process at the initial phase, and best treatment strategies. Researchers focus on devising new treatment approaches such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Doctors are experimenting with different cancer vaccines to treat kidney cancer and prevent recurrence in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Several recently identified medications that impact the development of blood vessels and the proliferation of cancer cells are being explored as targeted therapy for kidney cancers. Modified cytokines for kidney cancer are still being studied in clinical studies. Antibodies targeting specific molecules on the surface of immune cells, such as programmed death-1 (PD-1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), are used as immune checkpoint inhibitors. Clinical studies are currently being conducted to find new ways to reduce the symptoms and side effects of current kidney cancer treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Advancement in Kidney Cancer Research

Scientists and doctors are constantly analyzing and learning more about kidney cancers. They are trying to devise better strategies to prevent and treat the disease. Many studies focus on discovering methods to provide the best possible treatment and care for people with a tumor in the kidney.

Many clinical trials test different treatment options for various kidney cancers. Patients or the caretakers are encouraged to talk with the doctor to learn about all the best available diagnostic methods, treatment options, and current research concerning kidney cancer. Since most kidney cancers do not respond well to traditional chemo procedures, researchers focus on devising new treatment approaches such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy.

The following are some latest advancements happening concerning kidney cancer treatment and care.

  • Cancer vaccines: Cancer vaccines aid the immune system in the battle against cancer. Doctors are experimenting with different cancer vaccines to treat kidney cancer and prevent recurrence in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma ​1​. One vaccine is created from the patient’s tumor and administered after surgery. In contrast, others are created from proteins detected on the surface of cancer cells or blood vessel cells discovered in the tumor.
  • Targeted therapy: Several recently identified medications that impact the development of blood vessels and the proliferation of cancer cells are being explored as targeted therapy for kidney cancer. These clinical studies’ findings suggest that these medications could be effective treatments for kidney cancer, which is an area of rapidly changing science. Many targeted medicines and immunotherapies are being investigated for use as adjuvant therapy or treatments given after the primary treatment(s) to reduce the chance of recurrence and eliminate any remaining cancer cells ​2​. Sunitinib, a targeted medication, reduced cancer return in patients with localized cancer who were at high risk of recurrence following nephrectomy. Other research hasn’t shown this effect, so utilizing this method isn’t recommended until further test results are obtained.
  • Modified cytokines: Although IL-2 is a successful treatment for metastatic kidney cancer, it has a slew of adverse side effects. A novel medication that chemically alters IL-2 (bempegaldesleukin) has been associated with fewer significant adverse effects. This treatment for kidney cancer is still being studied in clinical studies.
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors: This sort of immunotherapy works by removing the restraints on the immune system, allowing it to attack cancer more effectively. Antibodies targeting specific molecules on the surface of immune cells, such as programmed death-1 (PD-1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), are used in these medications ​3​. These medications appear to be effective in treating kidney cancer, and more clinical trials are now underway.
  • Palliative care/supportive care: Clinical studies are currently being conducted to find new ways to reduce the symptoms and side effects of current kidney cancer treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

References

  1. 1.
    Sonmez M, Sönmez L. New treatment modalities with vaccine therapy in renal cell carcinoma. Urol Ann. Published online 2019:119. doi:10.4103/ua.ua_166_17
  2. 2.
    Heng DYC, Kollmannsberger C, Chi KN. Review: Targeted therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma: current treatment and future directions. Ther Adv Med Oncol. Published online December 8, 2009:39-49. doi:10.1177/1758834009352498
  3. 3.
    Zhang Y, Ellinger J, Ritter M, Schmidt-Wolf IGH. Clinical Studies Applying Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells for the Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Cancers. Published online September 1, 2020:2471. doi:10.3390/cancers12092471