Kidney Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
The promise of cancer research
Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials. These are research studies in which people volunteer to take part. In clinical trials, doctors are testing new ways to treat kidney cancer. Research has already led to advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective approaches.
Patients who join these studies have the first chance to benefit from treatments that have shown promise in earlier research. They also make an important contribution to medical science by helping doctors learn more about the disease. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers do all they can to protect their patients.
Researchers are studying surgery, biological therapy, chemotherapy, and combinations of these types of treatment. They also are combining chemotherapy with new treatments, like stem cell transplantation. A stem cell transplant allows a patient to be treated with high doses of drugs. The high doses destroy both cancer cells and normal blood cells in the bone marrow. Later, the patient receives healthy stem cells from a donor. New blood cells develop from the transplanted stem cells.
Other approaches also are under study. For example, researchers are studying cancer vaccines that help the immune system to find and attack kidney cancer cells.
Patients who are interested in being part of a clinical trial should talk with their doctor.
National Cancer Institute information resources
You may want more information for yourself, your family, and your doctor. The NCI offers comprehensive research-based information for patients and their families, health professionals, cancer researchers, advocates, and the public.
SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov
Last Editorial Review: 3/30/2004
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