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USCD Oncologist Says Standard Treatment for Kidney Cancer is Not the Best Option

— The standard treatment for kidney cancer is the total removal of the kidney. A San Diego oncologist says that's not the best treatment option.

Kidney tumors don't usually respond to chemotherapy or radiation. Total removal of the kidney has been standard practice.

But research shows removing the tumor and surrounding tissue, while sparing the rest of the kidney, is just as effective.

UCSD oncologist Ithaar Derweesh is on a panel that's issued a new treatment guideline.

"Whenever it's possible, it's important to try to preserve kidney function by performing an operation that would try to just remove the tumor entirely, and then reconstruct the kidney, for example," Dr. Derweesh says.

Derweesh says total removal of the kidney is linked to cardiovascular and metabolic problems. He says these complications can be reduced by saving the kidney.

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