Adjuvant therapy aims to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back after surgery and improve outcomes for patients. There has been much confusion surrounding the role of adjuvant therapy for patients with kidney cancer, despite several clinical trials with different medicines. However, it remains an unmet need for kidney cancer patients.

Although there are a number of first-line treatments available for patients with metastatic kidney cancer, including targeted therapies (TKIs) and immunotherapies, there are few options and little guidance available for adjuvant therapy. More studies are needed to fully understand their use in the treatment of kidney cancer.

Targeted therapies have been assessed as adjuvant therapies for kidney cancer. However, the results are not clear-cut and the benefit of taking adjuvant therapy is not proven in terms of overall survival. Similarly, the results of immunotherapy as an adjuvant treatment are conflicting and clinical trials have not yet shown improvements in overall survival with adjuvant immunotherapy. However, positive results have been reported for pembrolizumab, which is available on the NHS as an adjuvant treatment for kidney cancer that is at high risk of returning after surgery.

A biomarker to identify which patients could benefit from adjuvant therapy is needed.

Read more about the adjuvant therapy clinical trials in Targeted Oncology here