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UCSD Study Shows Promise For Novel Kidney Cancer Treatment

Audio

Aired 5/4/10

Surgeons at UCSD say they've come up with a treatment that can save kidneys with large cancerous tumors. The method involves using a drug to shrink the tumor.

Surgeons at UCSD say they've come up with a treatment that can save kidneys with large cancerous tumors. The method involves using a drug to shrink the tumor.

All of the patients in the study were at high risk for end-stage kidney failure.

Doctors gave them a drug that blocks the formation of blood vessels to cancer cells. Once the tumors were reduced in size, surgeons partially removed the kidneys and rebuilt them.

UCSD oncologist Ithaar Derweesh concedes the study was done with a small number of patients. But he says the results were promising.

"We had 12 patients with 14 kidneys," Derweesh says. "And in all of those patients we were able to save those kidneys. None of the patients required dialysis afterward, and kidney functional preservation was excellent."

Dr. Derweesh says his research shows this approach is safe. He says a much larger study is needed.

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