Proactive treatment prolongs kidney cancer patients’ life

November 1st, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 1 (IANS) A proactive approach to treating kidney cancer patients ensures better results and prolongs life, according to a study based on 1,500 case histories.The one-size-fits-all approach used in such treatment should be changed, based on the results of the 15-year-old study, said Arie Belldegrun, co-author of the study, a professor of urology at University of California Los Angeles’s (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

“This is the most important work that we’ve done out of the kidney cancer programme at UCLA,” Belldegrun said. “We outline the foundation for personalised kidney cancer therapy. We have shown that not all kidney cancer patients are the same, not all localised kidney cancers are the same and not all metastatic kidney cancers are the same.”

The study found that patients with localised kidney cancer could be at low, intermediate or high risk, based on the chance of recurrence. Some patients have better outcomes while others may have very aggressive cancers.

If a patient with localised cancer is identified as low risk, his five-year survival rate is expected to be 97 percent, while his 10-year survival rate is 92 percent, according to an UCLA release.

An intermediate risk patient with localised disease would have a five-year survival rate of 81 percent and a 10-year survival rate of 61 percent. A high risk patient has a five-year survival rate of 62 percent, with a 10-year survival of 41 percent.

The study showed that a patient with low-risk, localised kidney cancer could be treated only with surgery and expect an excellent outcome. Such a move would spare the patient from having to undergo radiation or immunotherapy, which result in harsh side effects.

However, for a patient with high-risk, localised kidney cancer, surgery would not be enough. Additional therapy such as targeted treatments or immunotherapy should be considered in order to give the patient the best possible outcome.

The study appeared in Saturday’s issue of Cancer, journal of the American Cancer Society.

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