Why Some Kidney Cancer Patients Are Living Longer


DALLAS, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. About 81,000 people will be diagnosed with it this year. A decade ago, advanced kidney cancer was a death sentence, but now, new therapies and cutting-edge drugs are helping more people live longer, healthier lives.

“I noticed there was some blood in my urine,” recalls kidney cancer patient, Brent Hall.

It’s one of the big red flags when it comes to kidney cancer.

Ralph Auriemma, another kidney cancer patient, says, “I used to have a trace of blood in my urine, every physical, but this time there was more than a trace.”

But once a person sees blood in their urine, it means the cancer is probably more advanced. The most common form of it?

“Renal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer of the kidney,” says oncologist at Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Thomas Hutson, MD.

(Read Full Interview)

Dr. Hutson says treatments include radiation, chemo, and surgery.

“The cancer can be cured, usually, with surgery, but once it has spread beyond the confines of the kidney to other sites of the body or has returned after initial attempts at curing it, then the cancer is generally not felt to be curable,” Dr. Hutson explains.

That’s when immunotherapy is used — using antibodies to turn on the body’s immune system to kill the cancer cells, but now a new study shows the effectiveness of using immunotherapies combined with a new generation of oral therapies.

Dr. Hutson further explains, “And for the first time ever, there’s a small group of patients that can actually witness their cancer disappear on X-rays.”

The phase three “CLEAR Study” showed by using a combination of drugs, 95 percent of patients saw no further growth of the tumor and 71 percent had a significant reduction in the size of it.

“More patients are living with their cancer longer than ever before in history, and our goal is to cure more patients, and I think that’s a realistic expectation over time,” Dr. Hutson adds.

Smoking is the number one risk factor for kidney cancer. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, family history and workplace exposure to certain substances.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer & Editor.

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REPORT:        MB #5345

BACKGROUND: Advanced kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma (RCC), refers to cancer that has spread beyond the kidney to other parts of the body. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, accounting for about 90% of cases. In 2023, over 81,000 people were diagnosed with kidney cancer in the United States, according to cancer.net. There are a few types of advanced kidney cancer, which include, but are not limited to: clear cell renal cell carcinoma, non-clear cell renal cell carcinomas, papillary renal cell carcinoma, and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

(Sources: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/kidney-cancer/about/what-is-kidney-cancer.html


DIAGNOSING: Typical symptoms of advanced kidney cancer include, but are not limited to: fevers, weight loss, heavy sweating at night, and/or weakness. Other symptoms depend on where the cancer spreads to. Doctors can diagnose advanced kidney cancer with blood and urine tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, or a biopsy. Cancer staging is usually determined with an additional CT scan.

(Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/kidney-cancer/advanced/about#:~:text=Kidney%20cancer%20is%20called%20advanced,after%20you%27ve%20had%20treatment.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center is doing a trial with the CLEAR Study to treat advanced kidney cancer. The CLEAR Study is a combination of current immunotherapies and oral therapies for advanced kidney cancer. Oncologist Thomas Hutson, MD has been very involved in the study. According to Dr. Hutson, “the phase three trial ‘CLEAR Study’ showed, by using a combination of drugs, 95% of patients saw no further growth of the tumor and 71% had a significant reduction in the size of it.”

(Source: Thomas Hutson, MD, Oncologist, Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center)


Deke Jones


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Thomas Hutson, DO, PharmD, FACP

Read the entire Q&A