New hope for kidney cancer patients
A recent medical study reported the possibility of “prolonging the lives” of patients with advanced kidney cancer, thanks to a combination of two types of drugs.
Surgery does not work for patients with advanced kidney cancer, as cancer cells spread very quickly throughout the body, so drugs remain the only option for them.
According to a study conducted by doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, two types of commonly used cancer drugs, Nivolumab and Cabozantinib, have shown good results with regard to “prolonging the lives” of kidney cancer patients, and may completely rid them of the disease in some cases.
"The combination of the two drugs doubles the life expectancy of kidney cancer patients compared to the drugs we currently use, and there are fewer side effects," said Dr John McGrane, an oncologist at Royal Cornwall Hospital, who was involved in the study.
"Kidney cancer first spreads to the lungs or liver, and only then the patient feels chest pain or has difficulty breathing, and by that time it is too late for surgery" McGrane added.
According to the oncologist, it is difficult to apply chemotherapy to patients with kidney cancer, for reasons that are still unknown, so drugs remain the only solution, as they work to stop the expansion of cancer cells, and reduce their supply of oxygen and nutrients, to prevent their growth.
The study, which was conducted last February, found that giving patients with kidney cancer the drugs Nivolumab and Cabozantinib, caused a halt in the progression of tumors for 17 months.
The death rate in the group of patients who took the two drugs also decreased by 34%, compared to another group given a different common drug to treat this type of cancer.
Tumors were also permanently removed in 9 percent of patients who underwent the combination therapy.