New Help For Kidney Cancer

As many as 24,000 new cases of metastatic kidney cancer are diagnosed each year. Most with little chance of recovery. But now researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine, have developed a treatment that is becoming widely available and offering hope along the way.

70-Year-old Richard plays golf whenever he can find the time. Time itself, has new meaning for Richard since doctors said his kidney cancer meant his life could end within months. That was nearly three years ago.

Richard, Kidney Cancer Patient:
“It was a miracle. I wasn’t expected to live and here I am, it’ll be three years in two weeks that I had the surgery and it’s wonderful.”

And for others whose cancer has spread beyond the kidney, the procedure might also work wonders. It involves removing the diseased kidney and extracting the body’s natural cancer-fighting cells, known as lymphocytes. At a laboratory, the lymphocytes’ cancer fighting ability are enhanced and then infused back into the patient to attack the remaining cancer.

UCLA Kidney Cancer Program:
“This is the first time that we can see patients whose cancer has essentially melted away within weeks of therapy. This has never been seen before in kidney cancer.”

Normally, patients with metastatic kidney cancer are resistant to traditional therapies and have an average life expectancy of less than ten months. The new treatment is not successful for all patients, but for the lucky few like Richard, medicine can give what it often takes away. Time to enjoy life.

Forty-four percent of patients who received the UCLA treatment, have shown partial or complete response versus only 15 to 25 percent for other therapies.

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