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  • Writer's pictureCarley Batley

New hope for kidney cancer treatment using existing drugs

New research led by Urological Malignancies Programme member Dr Tom Mitchell offers new hope for the treatment of kidney cancer using existing drugs.

In a Cancer Cell paper, Dr Mitchell and fellow researchers identify IL1B macrophages as a promising target for existing drugs used to treat lung cancer. The next step, which is already being explored, will be clinical trials to prove that targeting IL1B can be used to effectively prevent renal cell carcinoma from forming or progressing.

You can read more about the study at the Wellcome Sanger Institute website. Dr Mitchell has also put together an excellent Twitter thread with some highlights from the paper.

The outcomes of this research are particularly significant for patients with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, a genetic condition where one copy of the VHL gene is switched off from birth. The second copy of VHL is usually switched off as a result of a common genetic event that often occurs in early life, leading to the formation of innumerable tumours.

Dr Mitchell said, "we should be able to prevent tumours forming in the first place by focusing on their genetic roots, rather than waiting for them to grow and removing them. As is the case for all cancers, the earlier we can intervene the better."

An article in The Independent includes the perspective of a patient with VHL.

You can read the full article here:

Ruoyan Li et al. (2022). Mapping single cell transcriptomes in the intra-tumoural and associated territories of kidney cancer. Cancer Cell.

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