A new study from the USA shows that highly focused radiation called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) to isolated kidney cancer metastases that grow despite treatment with medication can slow progression of the disease. This can save the use of other drugs for treating the kidney cancer down the line.

Metastatic kidney cancer is difficult to treat and patients become resistant to each line of therapy. Eventually some patients run out of drugs to try. In some patients, although metastases can be found at multiple sites in their bodies, only a few metastases are growing.

The phase 2 clinical trial found that highly focused SABR could control the growth of metastases growing at a few sites in the body. SABR extended the use of ongoing medication by an average of 11.1 months.

Another phase 2 trial in Canada showed similar results with SABR extending the use of ongoing medication by 12.6 months. Both studies controlled the growth of the radiated metastases without affecting the patient’s quality of life.

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