Renal medullary carcinoma (RMC) is a rare and aggressive cancer that occurs in young people of African descent with sickle cell trait. Unlike renal cell carcinoma (RCC), where nearly 8 in 10 patients survive for 5 years or more, only 5 in 100 patients with RMC survive beyond 3 years with standard anti-cancer medication. Patients with RMC respond poorly to treatments that are effective for other kidney cancers. There is, therefore, an urgent unmet need for more effective treatment for this devastating disease.

There were 5 patients in this study, all with RMC that had spread. All patients had been treated with radiotherapy, either as a standalone treatment or in combination with chemotherapy.

The two patients who were treated with radiotherapy alone ultimately passed away from their disease. The three patients treated with radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy all had complete responses to their treatment lasting more than 12 months after radiotherapy.

The findings show the potential of combining radiotherapy and chemotherapy for the management of carefully selected patients with metastatic RMC.

For support and information about RMC, please visit the Ricky Casey Trust.

For further information about RMC, please see our Essential guide to renal medullary carcinoma here.

Read more in Clinical Genitourinary Cancer here