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Study Shows Immunotherapy After Kidney Cancer Surgery Boosts Survival Rates, Reports ET HealthWorld

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Immunotherapy Post-Surgery Improves Overall Survival for Kidney Cancer: Study Finds, ET HealthWorld

Boston: In a groundbreaking development, a phase 3 clinical trial has shown that adjuvant therapy can significantly improve overall survival in kidney cancer patients for the first time in 50 years. The trial found that treating patients with clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma (ccRCC) with pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy medication, after surgery resulted in a 38% reduction in the risk of death compared to a placebo.

The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Toni Choueiri, highlighted that pembrolizumab not only delays recurrences but also helps patients live longer. The findings of the KEYNOTE-564 trial have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine after being presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancer Symposium.

The trial involved 994 patients at high risk for recurrence who were randomized to receive pembrolizumab or a placebo following nephrectomy. Pembrolizumab targets a molecular pathway that cancer cells use to evade the immune system, allowing the body’s T cells to combat tumors more effectively. Patients with clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma are often at risk of recurrence after surgery, leading to metastatic disease.

Since the first randomized controlled trial of an adjuvant therapy in 1973, researchers have been searching for ways to prolong survival and reduce recurrences in kidney cancer patients. The KEYNOTE-564 study is the first to show that pembrolizumab can extend survival in this patient group, marking a significant milestone in the treatment of kidney cancer.

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