Focused Radiation Has ‘Good Success’ for Metastatic Kidney Cancer

Though not curative, stereotactic radiation — which is a method of delivering radiation to precise locations within the body — is an effective treatment strategy for certain patients with metastatic kidney cancer and may be able to delay the need for taking drugs to treat the disease, according to Dr. Raquibul Hannan.

In a recent interview with CURE®, Hannan, who is the chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Services at UT Southwestern Medical Center, discussed the use of stereotactic radiation in patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

“Those patients we had very good success by doing focused radiation to all sides of visible metastasis,” he said.


We first look and see if metastatic kidney cancer can be controlled with stereotactic radiation, and now we have published results that shows that more than 90% local control with stereotactic radiation, again with minimal toxicity for tumors that are metastatic and it could be metastatic to any part of the body.

But oftentimes you have patients with many number of metastasis So how do you integrate radiation or stereotactic radiation for those patients? That’s the main question. So two places where we found application of this one is the oligometastatic setting. So when the kidney cancer patients are coming in with metastasis in one, two or three, or four or five sites only, and the patient’s biology suggests that there are not a very aggressive biology such as IDTC, favorable and intermediate risk. So we know that these patients are not going to rapidly progress. Those patients we had very good success by doing focused radiation to all sides of visible metastasis.

We’re not curing those patients. We know there are other sides of metastases that are unseen or are metastases that will eventually grow, and the patient will eventually need systemic therapy. However, by giving the radiation and controlling them temporarily, we delay the start of systemic therapy. We preserve the quality of life for these patients. And eventually when the patient do start systemic therapy, we think that the efficacy of the systemic therapy will not be compromised. So we have now published a retrospective study and a prospective small single arm phase 2 trial confirming these findings.

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