"All of these patients with cancers that have not spread present to their doctors with presumably localized disease and in the past they may have been treated the same way," Belldegrun said. "They need to be treated individually according to their risk levels."
The study showed that a patient with low-risk, localized 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, localized 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.
In metastatic patients, someone with low-risk cancer should get very aggressive treatment, Belldegrun said, because there's a good chance the therapy will help the patient. Those with high-risk, metastatic disease won't get much, if any, benefit from treatment and may want to forego surgery and the toxic therapies.
"Our paper identifies, very precisely, which patients should get which therapies," Belldegrun said.
The study represents 15 years of experience in UCLA's leading-edge kidney cancer program, an interdisciplinary approach to treating cancer that brings together medical oncologists, urologists, surgeons, clinical trials experts and scientists under one roof, a concept that was first conceptualized at UCLA. The study analyzed the first 1,492 patients treated in the program and "demonstrated that outstanding results can be achieved using this approach," Bell
|Contact: Kim Irwin|
University of California - Los Angeles