November 4, 2008

Personalized Kidney Cancer Therapy Better

U.S. researchers found aggressive, personalized treatment increases kidney cancer patient survival compared to the one-size-fits-all traditionally used.

Researchers said the landmark University of California, Los Angeles, study of 1,500 patients will allow doctors to better predict which patients will do well and select those who may respond to targeted therapies.

The one-size-fits-all approach traditionally used in kidney cancer treatment should be changed based on the results of the study, said Dr. Arie Belldegrun, a professor of urology and researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center who was the study's senior author.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, found that patients with localized kidney cancer -- cancer that has not spread to other organs -- could have either low, intermediate or high risk cancers based on the chance for recurrence.

Patients with cancers that had already spread also fell into similarly different subsets. Some have better outcomes while others may have very aggressive cancers that may not warrant treatment.

The study showed that a patient with low-risk, localized kidney cancer could be treated only with surgery and expect an excellent outcome. However, for a patient with high-risk, localized kidney cancer, surgery would not be enough and additional therapy should be considered.