Team tactics take on kidney cancer at RPCI
The Kidney Cancer Team at Roswell Park Cancer Institute takes a multidisciplinary team approach to the disease that yields great survival rate for early stage cancers. They will develop the right treatment, personalized for your cancer.
How we treat kidney cancer
Patients who come to Roswell for treatment of kidney cancer will receive care from a highly specialized team, according to Roberto Pili, MD, professor of oncology, chief of the genitourinary section and Co-Leader of the genitourinary program. “From the initial diagnosis, through surgery and follow up, the treatment of their disease is taken on by physicians who are dedicated to and have a research interest in kidney cancer. Here at Roswell we also want to work together with our colleagues in the community to better serve Western New York Community”
At Roswell Park Cancer Institute, each and every kidney cancer patient benefits from a multidisciplinary approach, according to Thomas Schwaab, MD PhD, a urologist at RPCI. A team of about 15 urologic surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, radiation specialists and other experts collaborate to determine the best treatment plan for each individual case. As a Comprehensive Cancer Care Center, each patient receives treatment according to evidence-driven NCCN guidelines and Society of Urologic Oncology guidelines. These guidelines include treatments like:
- Surgery. Removing the affected kidney in a radical nephrectomy is one option, but, partial nephrectomy, removing the tumor and sparing as much of the kidney and kidney function as possible is a fundamental goal. Most of these surgeries are performed laparoscopically and over 90 percent of kidney cancer surgeries performed at RPCI use the robotic daVinci surgical system. “The standard of care for most renal masses is a nephron-sparing procedure, like a partial nephrectomy, even in older patients,” says Dr. Schwaab.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA). A thin needle is inserted into the tumor’s core and the tumor is ablated or destroyed essentially by “cooking” it.
- Cryotherapy. A thin needle is inserted into the tumor and liquid nitrogen or argon gas is supplied to “freeze” and destroy the tumor.
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), in some places referred to as cyberknife surgery. A very high dose of radiation is focused very precisely on the kidney tumor.
- Drug therapies. Immunotherapywith high dose interleuken-2 boosts the body’simmune system into fighting kidney cancer.New targeted therapies using sorafenib, sunitnib or bevacizumab interfere with the process of new blood vessel formation by which cancer cells grow.
- Clinical trials. Novel research protocols at RPCI currently explore new agents and new combinations and sequencing of drugs to improve the therapeutic benefit for patients with recurrent kidney cancer. “These research studies initiated here at Roswell will advance our understanding of this disease and will offer additional therapeutic opportunities to our patients” says Dr. Pili.