Kidney cancer: drugs

For kidney cancer, various targeted therapy drugs are now sometimes prescribed. In particular, those of immunotherapy (such as interleukin 2) that act against cancer cells.

Another new and very important family of treatments: anti-angiogenic drugs can be prescribed to patients with kidney cancer metastases. However, kidney cancer is diagnosed at a metastatic stage in about 30% of cases.

Until now, when there was metastasis, the treatment was surgical. Metastasis was removed by surgery when possible or, in the case of multiple metastases, by immunotherapy (interleukin or interferon alfa). It was the only reference treatment for metastatic kidney cancer. Anti-angiogenic drugs against kidney cancer.

Anti-angiogenic drugs

Anti-angiogenic drugs are called sorafenib, sunitinib, axitinib, pazopanib or bevacizumab. Or alternatively temsirolimus or everolimus. They have the effect of "cutting the food" of the tumor by blocking angiogenesis, that is to say by blocking the formation of new blood vessels that form to feed (irrigate) the cancerous tumor.

These treatments, by blocking the neo-vessels, have for objective: the destruction of the metastases, for lack of irrigation.

These treatments are not without drawbacks:

  • tired,
  • high blood pressure,
  • foot-hand syndrome (desquamation in the palms)
  • gastric and intestinal disorders.

These drugs are given by infusion or injection under the skin, or can be taken in tablets for some.

These drugs are not active on all kidney cancers. Among the four subgroups of clear cell kidney cancers, these anti-angiogenic agents are effective on two sub types, which are effective on one of them, and not effective on another.

Immunotherapy drugs

Other immunotherapy treatments are also being used in advanced kidney cancer. Example: work with new drugs is conducted to prevent proteins from blocking, or to curb the immune defense response as unfortunately do PD-1 proteins on the surface of some lymphocytes ... Using a PD blocking drug -1, the immune defense system acts much better. And quite encouraging results have been recorded in therapeutic trials with nivolumab.

Check out this short video in which Professor Benoît Beuselinck, doctor oncologist, insists on a better targeting of
new drugs, knowing that tumor analysis can tell which type of anti-angiogenic drug is effective ... or not. Interview given on the occasion of the National Mobilization Against Kidney Cancer (2016).

In video: expert interview on targeted treatments for kidney cancer

Kidney cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers. Interview with Professor Benoït Beuselinck, oncology doctor, on the concert fight against kidney cancer and the progress of research on this subject.

You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? See you in our FORUMS Cancer or A doctor answers you!

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