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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Newer treatments for kidney cancer

Many new treatments are being tested for kidney cancer. They may be given to try to reduce the risk of cancer coming back after surgery (called adjuvant treatment), or to try to control kidney cancer that has spread. Because these treatments are still experimental they will usually only be available within clinical trials. If your doctor thinks there is a clinical trial which may be helpful for you, they can refer you to a specialist hospital where the trial is being run. You may have to travel a long way to the specialist hospital.

Immunotherapy

TroVax® is a vaccine that is being tested as a treatment for advanced kidney cancer. It is being tested with three treatments that are already used to treat kidney cancer: interferon, aldesleukin, and sunitinib.

A number of other vaccines are also being tested in clinical trials to see if they can help to stimulate the immune system to destroy kidney cancer.

Targeted treatments

Bevacizumab (Avastin®) is a type of treatment known as a monoclonal antibody and is given as a drip into a vein (intravenous infusion). It is being researched as a treatment for people with stage 3 or 4 kidney cancer when given in combination with interferon or aldesleukin. It works by blocking a special type of protein that can encourage cancer cells to make a new blood supply. This may help to slow the growth of the cancer.

Temsirolimus (Torisel®) is given as a drip into a vein (intravenous infusion). It blocks the function of a special protein (mTOR) that is found inside cells. The protein has an important role in regulating cell growth and survival. In clinical trials, temsirolimus has been used as a treatment for people who have advanced kidney cancer which has a higher risk of growing or spreading more quickly.

There are several other targeted therapies currently being developed. These may target either the cancer’s ability to make its own blood supply (called angiogenesis), or the way in which the cancer cells respond to signals that affect their numbers, growth, or survival. Your doctor or specialist nurse can give you further information about newer treatments.

Via: http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk

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