Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer

 

Kidney cancer has historically been one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Research developments in immunotherapy and targeted treatments have resulted in advances that have helped patients live longer, higher-quality lives, including the development of several new drugs that target vulnerable pathways in cancer cells.

Survival rates for kidney cancer have improved steadily since the early 1980s. While they remain lower than other cancers, a wide range of research is underway to expand treatment options and improve the lives of patients with the disease.

Expand All +

2015

Nivolumab improves survival and receives FDA approval for kidney cancer

Nivolumab improves survival and receives FDA approval for kidney cancer

The FDA approves nivolumab (Opdivo) for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. The approval follows a clinical trial that found patients who received nivolumab lived about five months longer compared to those treated with the previous standard treatment, everolimus (Afinitor). This marks the second FDA-approved therapy proven to extend survival in renal cell cancer, following temsirolimus’ (Torisel) 2007 approval.

2011

FDA approves axitinib for persistent kidney cancer

FDA approves axitinib for persistent kidney cancer

A study finds that axitinib (Inlyta) is more effective than a current standard therapy, sorafenib (Nexavar), for slowing cancer growth in patients with advanced kidney cancer that gets worse despite prior therapy. The FDA approves axitinib in 2012, offering a new treatment for patients with a challenging form of kidney cancer.

2009

Pazopanib approved for advanced kidney cancer
Bevacizumab approved for renal cancer after multiple studies confirm benefit
Everolimus approved for renal cell carcinoma if other drugs fail

Everolimus approved for renal cell carcinoma if other drugs fail

FDA approves everolimus (Afinitor) for treatment of renal cell carcinoma in patients whose disease returned or progressed despite prior therapy with sunitinib (Sutent) and/or sorafenib (Nexavar). Everolimus targets the mTOR protein, a pathway that is particularly active in renal cell carcinomas, and was found to help patients live twice as long without their cancer progressing, compared to placebo and standard supportive care.

2006

Two new targeted drugs are proven effective in major trials; FDA approvals follow

Two new targeted drugs are proven effective in major trials; FDA approvals follow

Sunitinib (Sutent) is approved in January 2006 for advanced renal cell cancer in previously untreated patients, based on studies showing it shrank more tumors and resulted in slower disease progression compared to the previous standard treatment, interferon.

In May 2007, FDA approves another targeted drug, temsirolimus (Torisel), based on studies showing that it prolonged median overall survival of patients with advanced renal carcinoma by more than 3 months (or about 50 percent), compared to standard interferon treatment. This drug targets the mTOR protein, which regulates cancer cell growth and division.

2005

First FDA approval of a targeted drug for kidney cancer

First FDA approval of a targeted drug for kidney cancer

FDA approves the new treatment sorafenib in December 2005, based on studies showing it delays tumor progression in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma whose cancer recurs or persists despite previous immunotherapy. It is the first treatment found to benefit patients with this advanced, pre-treated form of the disease.

2000

Combination of kidney removal and immunotherapy extends life