A treatment pioneered at Peter Mac is emerging as the new standard of care for patients with inoperable kidney cancers. It involves a highly precise form of radiotherapy, and overturns previously held views that radiotherapy was not effective against kidney cancer.

Peter Mac’s Associate Professor Shankar Siva led the use of “SABR” (Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy) to treat inoperable primary renal cell carcinoma. He says targeting these kidney cancers with SABR has been shown to effectively eradicate tumours, prevent spread, and trigger long-term remissions in patients.

“This is a remarkable new treatment option, as patients with inoperable kidney cancer have few options for cure,” Associate Professor Siva says.

“SABR was found to be very effective with a 92 percent cancer specific survival at five years. The body of evidence is compelling, SABR should now form part of the treatment guidelines for primary renal cell carcinoma.

“Peter Mac was a leader in pioneering this new treatment in primary kidney cancer and we are very proud to have helped advance patient care and improve outcomes.”

In October, Assoc Professor Siva presented the long-term efficacy and safety results of the International Radiosurgery Oncology Consortium of the Kidney (IROCK) study at the ASTRO meeting in San Antonio, USA. A paper containing these results has also been published in The Lancet Oncology.

The IROCK study has long-term follow-up data after SABR from 13 centres, of which Peter Mac is the lead institution. Of 190 patients with primary renal cell carcinoma treated with SABR, only 5.5 percent of patients' cancers had regrown, and healthy kidney function was maintained.

“Renal cell carcinoma is increasing in incidence with our ageing population and unfortunately an operation to remove the cancer is not possible for many patients with kidney cancer,” Associate Professor Siva says.

“This leaves patients, especially those with larger primaries, with little to no treatment options until the development of SABR and the expansion of its use into kidney cancer.”

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