Top 5 Kidney Cancer Articles From 2021

Take a look back at some of the major milestones in kidney cancer that were achieved in 2021.

The year 2021 has been a landmark one in the field of kidney cancer, with new treatments — like combination immunotherapy — drastically changing the landscape and outcomes of patients with metastatic disease. In fact, Dr. Eric Jonasch of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network said that Lenvima (lenvatinib) plus Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is, “one of the strongest regimens that’s been tested so far in this particular setting, in advanced kidney cancer.”

Read about this advancement and more, in CURE®’s top 5 most-read articles about kidney cancer.

1. Immunotherapy Combinations Offer ‘Hope and Promise’ for Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

In early 2021, pivotal results from the phase 3 CLEAR clinical trial came out, showing that Lenvima (lenvatinib) plus Keytruda (pembrolizumab) improved progression-free survival and overall survival and response rates in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

2. Cholesterol-Blocking/Hepatitis C Antiviral Drugs May Work on Kidney Cancer

Some drugs that treat hepatitis C inhibit the SCARB1 protein, which research has shown might stop clear cell RCC cells from multiplying. Since these drugs already exist and are known to be mostly safe, researcher M. Celeste Simon calls it a “lucky break.” However, research in this field is still in the early stages.

3. NCCN Recommends Lenvima Plus Keytruda for First-Line Renal Cell Carcinoma: What Patients Should Know

CURE®’s top kidney cancer article of the year was about the improved outcomes seen with Lenvima and Keytruda in certain patients with kidney cancer. After seeing the results from the phase 3 CLEAR trial, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommended that this regimen be used as the first line of treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma. We spoke with someone at the NCCN about what patients with the disease need to know about this decision.

4. Higher BMI May Be Associated With Improved Overall Survival in Patients With Metastatic Kidney Cancer

While being overweight or obese comes with its own set of health issues, research published in JAMA Oncology found that individuals with an elevated body mass index (BMI) and metastatic RCC being treated with immunotherapy tended to have improved overall survival rates when compared with those with lower BMIs. Researchers have dubbed this the “obesity paradox.”

5. Active Surveillance Occurs Frequently Versus Systemic Therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Nearly a third of patients with metastatic RCC undergo active surveillance in lieu of immediate treatment, and this may be a safe option for many patients — along with saved money and no treatment-related side effects — according to research published in the journal Cancer.

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