• June 8, 2023

Kidney Cancer Day, 7 out of 10 patients outgrow the disease

Six out of 10 cases of kidney cancer are identified by chance. There is, in fact, no test for early diagnosis. What, then, can make the difference? “Two things: primary prevention, that is lifestyle, and, once diagnosed, do not waste time and immediately refer to a specialized multidisciplinary center for kidney cancer”, replies Tonia Cinquegrana, President and one of the founders of Anture, the National Kidney Cancer Association which today, on the occasion of the day dedicated to this neoplasm, organized a virtual press conference (available on its Facebook channel), thanks to the unconditional support of Ipsen.

The day dedicated to the importance of talking about care

The day was established by the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC), the international and independent network of patient associations from almost 45 different countries. This year is dedicated to the dialogue between doctors and patients on the different treatment options (“We need to talk about treatment options “). “Several studies – continues Cinquegrana – have shown that the best results are obtained when patients and doctors make therapeutic decisions together. Depending on the type of tumor, its stage and the patient’s priorities, there are in fact different possibilities. One of the objectives of this year’s edition of the World Day is precisely to foster dialogue between specialists and the sick. On this occasion, we would like to underline the importance of genomic tests also in this neoplasm: they must be made available to all patients who need them throughout the peninsula “. Another important aspect is access to clinical trials: according to a recent worldwide survey by the IKCC, 89% of patients with kidney cancer would consider joining a trial, but less than half are made this proposal.

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The testimonies of two patients

To show the importance of both the sharing of therapeutic choices to improve the quality of life, and of the experiments, two patients told their experience: Virginio and Veronica, whose cancer is now in complete remission thanks to immunotherapy. “Being able to tell my story is almost a miracle,” she says: “The tumor was discovered 8 years ago. I was operated on, but soon after I had a relapse. I had the opportunity to participate in the clinical study and although my situation was really critical, thanks to this opportunity today the disease is no longer there, if we can say so “. “Clinical studies are fundamental to increase our knowledge about cancer and at the same time they can provide patients with access to innovative treatments”, comments Giuseppe Procopio, Director of ASST Oncology in Cremona: “For this double objective, research is fundamental and must always be promoted. It has allowed us to obtain extraordinary results especially as regards the personalization of therapies “.

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How the cure changes

The increase in survival is due to the introduction of innovative target therapies which, in the last decade, in particular for the advanced stage of the disease. “The introduction of biological drugs first and then of immunotherapeutic ones has revolutionized clinical practice and can restore hope”, adds Sergio Bracarda, Incoming President of SIUrO – Italian Society of Oncological Urology: “However, the remarkable positive results in terms of efficacy are also accompanied by some temporary side effects. The most frequent are weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, anemia and skin changes. Strengthening the dialogue between specialist and patient can also favor a better management of these contraindications “.

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The genomic test

To personalize therapies more and more, genomic testing can also play an important role in kidney cancer. “This test, which must be done only on the advice of the oncologist – allows the identification of driver mutations, which can become targets of targeted therapies, when available”, explains Camillo Porta, Full Professor of Medical Oncology at the Aldo Moro University of Bari. and Director of the Medical Oncology Division of the Bari Polyclinic: “Unfortunately, the test is not yet reimbursable by the health system”.

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Kidney cancer in Italy

In Italy every year there are about 13,500 new cases, of which – as we said – over 8 thousand identified through tests, such as ultrasound of the abdomen, performed for other reasons. The disease affects men three times more than women and survival 5 years after diagnosis is around 70%. To date, it is estimated that around 144,000 people live in our country with a previous diagnosis of kidney cancer. In 55% of cases, when it is discovered, the tumor is confined only to the kidney, while in about 30% it has already spread and metastasized. “A precious weapon in our hands is primary prevention”, concludes Porta: “The links between illness and cigarette smoking, obesity or excess weight or alcohol abuse are documented by many studies. than with widespread pathologies such as arterial hypertension or cystic kidney disease “. For his awareness campaign, Anture has carried out some interviews with patients, which can be seen on his YouTube channel.

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