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IN THE CLINIC

ARTIST

‘ARTIST’ stands for a translational research Approach to development of optimal Renal cancer Treatments In Surgical and systemic Therapy patients, a single-centre translational research study designed to identify and characterize novel biomarkers for the optimal detection, monitoring and treatment of renal cell cancer (RCC). 

Devised to run alongside standard clinical care and routine patient appointments, ARTIST will collect samples from participants at all stages of RCC in order to identify clinically relevant biomarkers at key points in the kidney cancer journey. Its primary aim is to identify biomarker signatures for improving diagnosis, guiding prognosis and predicting drug effectiveness and clinical benefit. By determining and describing the frequency and efficacy of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, the results will guide and inform earlier identification of kidney cancer and its relapse, facilitate the identification of patients likely to respond to pre- or post-surgery drug treatments and help determine the best drug treatments to improve metastatic kidney cancer survival. 

 

Run at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHFT), ARTIST aims to collect blood, urine, tissue, stool, imaging data and relevant clinical information from up to 1,000 patients over a 10-year period. Eligible participants include patients at high risk as a result of having Von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome, patients with kidney masses which are removable by surgery, patients with metastatic kidney cancer, and patients who do not have kidney cancer but who are undergoing nephrectomy for non-cancerous reasons. Prospective recruitment will ensure that clinically relevant biomarkers can be identified at key points in participants’ cancer journey, whilst samples, scans and data from retrospectively recruited participants will boost recruitment and ensure sufficient participants are included to comprehensively assess novel biomarkers.  

 

Samples and scans will be analysed using cutting edge technologies to identify markers which predict relapse-free survival (RFS) or progression-free survival (PFS) in kidney cancer patients within 2 and 5 years. As part of its secondary objectives, ARTIST also aims to improve clinical diagnoses by identifying biomarkers which enable earlier detection of kidney cancer and its relapse at treatable stages, and by identifying biomarkers capable of differentiating benign and cancerous masses without the need for invasive procedures. It is hoped that the study will also help optimise clinical prognosis by identifying biomarkers able to guide aggressive vs less aggressive treatment decisions at key points, identifying patients most likely to benefit from drug or other treatments after potentially curative surgery and predicting those at risk of developing side effects from drug treatments. The study will also provide patient samples for testing molecular predictions and mechanisms arising from laboratory analysis of kidney cancer pathogenesis and for the development of cell cultures and animal models of kidney cancer. 

 

Led by Dr Sarah Walsh as Chief Investigator, ARTIST is organised and run by the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHFT) and funded by the Cambridge Cancer Centre Urological Malignancies Programme. Samples and data will be stored by the CRUK Urological Malignancies Programme at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and will be analysed by laboratories and researchers at the University of Cambridge and at other collaborating institutions.