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Landmark UCLA study finds aggresive, personalized treatment increases kidney cancer patient survival
Date:10/31/2008

A study of nearly 1,500 patients treated for kidney cancer at UCLA in the last 15 years shows that an aggressive, tailored treatment approach results in better survival rates and uncovered subsets of kidney cancer that behave differently and need to be treated accordingly.

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

"This is the most important work that we've done out of the kidney cancer program at UCLA," Belldegrun said. "We outline the foundation for personalized kidney cancer therapy. We have shown that not all kidney cancer patients are the same, not all localized kidney cancers are the same and not all metastatic kidney cancers are the same."

The study appears in the Nov. 1, 2008 issue of Cancer, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

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

"We showed for the first time, using an integrated staging system developed at UCLA, that we can identify which patients with localized disease fall into the low, intermediate and high risk subsets and which patients with metastasized cancers are either low, intermediate or high risk patients," Belldegrun said. "Now we can make treatment decisions based on that."

If a patient with localized cancer is identified as low risk, his five-year survival rate is expecte
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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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