The results from CARMENA, a randomised phase III clinical trial to assess the importance of surgery to remove the kidney (nephrectomy) in people with metastatic kidney cancer, were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ACSO) annual meeting in Chicago this week.

The results showed that many people with metastatic kidney cancer can avoid nephrectomy without compromising survival.  The median overall survival for people who received only sunitinib (a targeted therapy) was 18.4 months, compared to 13.9 months for those who received surgery followed by sunitinib, the current standard of care.

“Until now, nephrectomy has been considered the standard of care for patients with kidney cancer who have metastatic disease when the cancer is first diagnosed. These cases account for about 20% of all kidney cancers worldwide,” said lead study author Dr Arnaud Mejean from Paris, France. “Our study is the first to question the need for surgery in the era of targeted therapies and clearly shows that surgery for certain people with kidney cancer should no longer be the standard of care.”

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