An Unused Curative Option in RCC?

Advances in radiation therapy and new insights in cell biology have broadened the scope for radiation therapy in primary unresectable and metastatic renal tumors. Yet, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) still appears to be widely regarded as radiation-resistant, with the role of radiation therapy limited mainly to palliative care in professional guidelines.


2 Responses to “An Unused Curative Option in RCC?”

  1. Clive Stone

    I was diagnosed with renal cancer almost seven years ago and all that time I had been told that RCC failed to respond to RT so this is a welcome breath of fresh air. I am being treated with Sutent now as my cancer has spread and is now in my spine and pelvis. I now wish I could have been treated before with RT which would also have been cheaper. It appears that NHS England are dragging their feet re long awaited provision of government promised innovative RT and many patients in London have been turned away from Gamma Knife treatments due to this new NHS structure. I have had 34 brain tumours successfully treated with Gamma Knife over last 3 years at Sheffield and can’t praise the teams enough for giving me that extra time. RT appears to be the poor relation in terms of funding where big pharma get the lions share of budgets despite curing only 2% of patients against an RT cure rate of 40%. We need a better treatment balance for cancer patients if we are ever to beat this disease.

  2. Dr Christy Goldsmith

    Renal cancer is more resistant to radiotherapy than many cancers. However, a new radiotherapy technique called Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) which gives a very “hot” dose of radiotherapy over a few treatment sessions, is achieving excellent results for this disease.
    The Harley Street Clinic has a CyberKnife machine which can deliver SBRT treatments. 16 patients with Renal cancer metastases (spread of cancer) have been treated since the centre opened in March 2009. The radiotherapy has controlled disease in 87% of the cases treated, after an average of 2 years follow-up, and treatment has been well tolerated.
    SBRT is a treatment that works very well for the right patients (those that only have one or a few sites of disease, and small tumour deposits). The current situation of NHS funding for patients that can benefit from SBRT is appalling though. Prior to 1st April 2013 patients with Renal cancer that had spread to bones, or lungs, could have SBRT funded on the NHS if their Specialist Doctor made a good case for their funding. Since 1st April 2013 due to a “rule-change”, SBRT for this indication is not funded on the NHS.
    I am so glad Action Radiotherapy is campaigning to improve NHS funding for SBRT and other specialist Radiotherapy techniques so that patients can benefit from UK Radiotherapy expertise.