Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog




Kidney Cancer Awareness Month: 2021 Immunotherapy Research Updates

Five reasons kidney cancer is hard to treat:

  1. Kidney cancer is very heterogeneous. It may have different kinds of cell in different parts of the tumor.
  2. Kidney cancer can suppress the immune system within the tumor microenvironment.
  3. Kidney cancer is an anatomic challenge. The tumor can extend into the inferior vena cava, which leads directly to the heart.
  4. Kidney cancer creates a low oxygen environment and may induce hypoxia.
  5. Kidney cancer has a lot of abnormal blood vessels.

This March for Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, we look at new research, new treatments, and how we’re working toward a future immune to kidney cancer. 

Kidney Cancer Treatment Landscape Update

At the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Saby George, MD, FACP, of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed what patients with kidney cancer need to know about immunotherapy and answered audience questions about side effects, length of treatment, and COVID-19, among other topics.

Kidney Cancer Patient Story

In 2012, Philip Prichard was shocked to learn that he had a 3.8 pound tumor on his right kidney. The tumor was removed successfully with surgery, but unfortunately, several months later, the cancer returned. Philip and his wife Susan sought out the best care possible, eventually leading them to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where his oncologist recommended enrolling in a clinical trial for the immunotherapy nivolumab (Opdivo).

Kidney Cancer Scientist Spotlight

Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is a study chair for a CRI-funded clinical trial examining combinations of two checkpoint immunotherapies, plus an immune-stimulating adjuvant, in a wide variety of patients, including in kidney cancer.


Immunotherapy for Kidney Cancer Information Updated

On June 16, 2020, the U.S. FDA made its second approval for biomarker-based indication regardless of cancer type. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, was approved to treat patients whose advanced solid cancers—including kidney cancer—have a high tumor mutational burden (TMB-H) and have proven resistant to available treatments. As the research and treatment landscape evolves, we keep our immunotherapy for kidney cancer information up to date.

VIEW Kidney Cancer UPDATE

Find a Cancer Clinical Trial

A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. The CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder will match you to trials for which you may be eligible, and you can help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs for yourself and others.

FIND A Cancer Clinical TRIAL

Support Kidney Cancer Research

CRI CLIP Investigator Nu Zhang, PhD, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has helped design a new protocol for standardizing experiments looking into tissue-resident memory T cells. He describes how to isolate and enrich CD8+ T cells from mouse kidneys for further study, just one way kidneys are helping us understand the larger immune system and hopefully lead to greater insights in battling this deadly disease. This Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.

DONATE to Kidney Cancer Research

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