Immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Kidney cancerSuspicion of kidney cancer. With these few words, everything suddenly turns upside down for patients. An organ that we normally don't feel at all and that most people hardly deal with, is now all of a sudden the cause of many worries, fears and questions. But what does kidney cancer actually mean?? Here, patients and their relatives can find answers to the most important questions about the most common type of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and what they can expect during examinations and treatment.

What is kidney cancer?

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Like a sewage treatment plant, the kidneys filter toxins out of the body and regulate its water and salt balance, among other things. With this cleaning and control, the bean-shaped organs perform a vital function.

If the cells of the kidney change and grow uncontrollably, kidney cancer can develop. Individual cells can detach from some tumors and travel through the blood or tie water to the lymph nodes and other organs. There, they can form new tumors, so-called.

Kidney cancer is multifaceted

The term kidney cancer covers various types of cancer on and in the kidney. Approximately 95% of kidney cancers in Germany are renal cell carcinomas. The following content therefore focuses on this form of kidney cancer.

You can learn more about how cancer develops in the article "Cancer: the disease".

Suspected kidney cancer – What happens now??

Each kidney cancer is individual. Therefore, it is first important to determine the type of kidney cancer as accurately as possible. For this, the doctors have to find out through various examinations whether there is actually a tumor, whether it is benign or malignant, where exactly it is located and whether it has already formed (daughter tumors).

These examinations include, for example, imaging examinations such as , , and laboratory tests (blood and urine). In certain cases, tie can also be taken from the tumor ( ) and subsequently examined. n are currently rather rare in kidney cancer and are only done under certain conditions.

Immunoncology kidney cancer

Several days or weeks usually pass before all the examinations are completed. This can be seen by patients. Require a lot of patience from relatives. Because as a person affected, you naturally want to have clarity quickly. However, it is important to give yourself and the examining physicians the time for accurate examinations. The more thorough the examination, the better the therapy can be tailored to the patient's disease.

Tip: Keep a copy of all examination results so that any doctor can quickly refer to them, for example, if you want to change doctors or get a second opinion.

What types of kidney cancer are there?

Tumors of the kidney can arise in different locations within the kidney and originate from different cells.

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Renal cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor that forms from the cells of the urinary tubules usually in the outer part of the kidney, the renal cortex.

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Oncocytoma is a benign tumor of the kidney. It appears like renal cell carcinoma on imaging studies, but does not form daughter tumors.

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Wilms' tumor (also known as nephroblastoma) is a malignant tumor of the kidney that occurs almost exclusively in children under five years of age.

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Renal pelvic carcinoma refers to a malignant tumor that is formed in the kidney but originates in the renal pelvis rather than the functional tie of the kidney. It is similar in tie structure to bladder and ureter tumors. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. Can be further subdivided into subtypes. These differ, among other things, in where exactly they originate in the kidney. For the treatment, not only the type of cancer is important, but also how advanced it is. There is an internationally standardized classification for the description of the disease: the TNM classification. At
Renal cell carcinoma doctors distinguish between the following stages:

Immunoncology kidney cancer

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

immuno-oncology kidney cancer

Using the TNM classification, the doctor can determine that of the tumor. However, an exact determination can only be made by a tie sample taken by an n. It is taken at the. Immediately examined.

How kidney cancer is treated?

Thorough examination and determination of the tumor helps the physician to assess the kidney cancer as accurately as possible. This is the only way to determine which treatment suits the patient's individual cancer condition. The choice of treatment also depends on the patient's general state of health.

Treatment for kidney cancer without metastases

The most important treatment for kidney cancer in the early stages is the . Depending on the size of the kidney. Location of the tumor either partially or completely removed ( ). Depending on how much tie is removed, doctors refer to the following types of :

Kidney section (organ-preserving): Removal of the tumor-bearing part of the kidney and, if possible, a small amount of healthy surrounding tie to preserve the kidney
According to : second , if tumor cells still remain
Pole : Interruption of the tumor supply through arteries and veins
Radical nephrectomy: Removal of the entire kidney, possibly including the lymph nodes near the kidney (hilar or regional)

In certain cases, so-called (active surveillance) is also performed. This therapeutic strategy is used for patients with a small kidney tumor (smaller than 4cm) who, for example, are not eligible for one due to their health condition or refuse it for personal reasons.

In rare cases, the kidney is removed, operated on outside the body, and then reinserted. This allows doctors to reach areas of the organ that are difficult to access. This procedure is called work-bench surgery.

In principle, the physician tries to preserve as much of the kidney as possible. If the cancer is at an early stage and has not yet spread, it can in many cases be completely removed with a.

Treatment for kidney cancer with metastases

If the cancer has already spread, not only the kidney tumor must be treated, but also the . Therefore, in this case, usually one or a so-called systemic therapy is used, which acts in the whole body. These include for example

– immuno-oncological therapies, depending on the line of therapy resp. treatment situation either alone (as so-called monotherapy), or in combination with other agents or with each other.

Metastatic kidney cancer is also operated on in some cases. These en are usually intended to relieve pain or support subsequent therapy with drugs. These can also sometimes be treated locally with a or.

Tip: If you receive the medication as tablets, be sure to take them regularly.

Another treatment option for certain forms of kidney cancer is so-called immuno-oncological therapy. The aim is to stimulate the body's own immune system to fight the cancer cells itself.

To learn more about how immuno-oncology therapy works and how it is used, click here.

The aim of many of these therapies is to improve the chances of a cure. This type of treatment approach is called n. If the cancer has already progressed to such an extent that there is no longer any prospect of successful treatment, the most commonly used treatment is. It is designed to relieve disease-related symptoms, control the tumor for as long as possible, and preserve the patient's quality of life. n (supportive or complementary therapies) are treatment approaches that are used after a tumor has been completely removed. They are intended to reduce the risk of the cancer returning ( ).

In view of the wide range of treatment options, it is important that treating physicians and patients openly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the appropriate options and jointly choose the appropriate therapy.

An Guidance can be found in the Treatment Choices fact sheet: What do I need to know? of the German Cancer Information Service. This also provides personal advice in its cancer counseling centers. The following links refer to independent sources of information. Do not necessarily represent the opinion of MSD. MSD does not warrant or ame responsibility for their accuracy, completeness or timeliness. The contributions express the sole views of the respective authors.

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