Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Inside the Shifting Treatment Landscape for Advanced Genitourinary Cancers


Surgery to remove cancer and even vital organs such as kidneys has been a mainstay of cancer treatment, but today, researchers are striving to find other options for patients. For example, nonsurgical treatments for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma include the use of immunotherapy (which uses one’s immune system to attack cancer cells) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (which block enzymes that aid in cancer growth).

Fifteen years ago, there weren’t many first-line treatment options for patients with this type of cancer, but now we have several — allowing patients and their oncologists to choose which treatment may work best for them.

In this special issue of CURE®, we spoke with a patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who obtained a second opinion after experiencing tumor growth while on a combination of two immunotherapy drugs. His new doctors suggested he enroll in a clinical trial that was testing an immunotherapy drug with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. He enrolled and participated, which resulted in the cancer shrinking. “Every scan I had showed a decrease, and the overall reduction of my cancer was 54%,” he told CURE®. Two other patients interviewed for the story had similar experiences with the combination treatment, highlighting its effectiveness in treating this disease even in earlier stages.


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