The National Cancer Institute places kidney cancer among the most common cancers in the United States. The American Cancer Society’s estimates that there will be over 61,000 new cases of kidney cancer each year. Kidney cancer strikes both men and women. The kidneys function as the main filters in the human body, which makes kidney cancer relatively unresponsive to traditional chemotherapy.
The main hope for most kidney cancer patients is that the cancer can be removed surgically. Urologist, Dr. Steven Campbell of the Cleveland Clinic notes, “Kidney cancer has become arguably the most interesting and challenging of all the cancers in modern oncology.” Thanks to tireless work of dedicated researchers and clinicians, surgical and medical advances in the last few years have helped experts like Dr. Campbell to treat kidney cancer patients more effectively and often with less severe side effects.
While the death rate for advanced kidney cancer is still high, there has been an overall gradual decline in recent years. Today, doctors can use anti angiogenic treatments that block the blood vessels supplying tumors with nutrients and oxygen. This therapy can starve a tumor and slow or even reverse its growth. Even advanced tumors that have spread beyond the kidney may respond to immunotherapy and targeted molecular therapy options. Inhibition of checkpoint control is among the recent research advances offering hope to kidney cancer patients. Inhibiting a protein called the programmed death ligand (PDL-1) through pharmacologic manipulation releases a “brake” on the immune system. Many clinical trials of this approach, sometimes combined with other targeted therapies and even new vaccine protocols, are causing excitement in the medical professionals who treat kidney cancer.
These treatments are explained by nationally recognized experts in the Jones and Bartlett Publisher’s 100 Questions and Answers about Kidney Cancer, complete with amazing illustrations provided by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Any diagnosis of cancer is scary—and many patients and their families feel a profound sense of loss of control. This book provides the essential information about kidney cancer that can help patients get “up to speed” with their diagnosis. Written in plain language, with comments by real kidney cancer patients and families, it is designed to inform and empower patients as they consider the best of a variety of treatment options for particular situation.
More information can be found in 100 Questions and Answers About Kidney Cancer, 2nd edition by Steven Campbell, Brian Rini, Robert Uzzo, Brian Lane, and Stephanie Chisolm.
Post written by Stephanie Chisolm, co-author of 100 Questions and Answers About Kidney Cancer, 2nd edition.