Neoadjuvant treatment is medication that is given before surgery to try to shrink the cancer, making it easier to remove.
In this study 20 patients with a kidney cancer tumour that had grown in the renal vein or the inferior vena cava (venous tumour thrombosis) were included in the study. They were given 8 weeks of treatment with axitinib with a break of one week before they had surgery to remove the tumour. More than 40% of patients had less complications during surgery than anticipated.
However, 20% of patients had an increase in the length of their venous tumour thrombosis, 2 of whom underwent surgery. A total of 17 patients had surgery and 3 did not. Reasons for not having surgery were progression of the cancer in 2 patients and a decline in the general health of one patient.
The most common serious side effects included myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disease), a broken bone due to disease, high blood sugar levels, a brain tumour, wound pain, confusion, and high calcium levels. No life-threatening side effects were reported.