Care By a Team of Kidney Cancer Specialists
University Hospitals (UH) Seidman Cancer Center has an entire team of experienced kidney cancer specialists that work together to determine the optimal treatment for your kidney cancer prognosis. With world-renowned urology specialization, we collaborate on weekly tumor board reviews and determine any opportunities to enhance your care with the latest treatment innovations.
Treatments for Improved Outcomes in Kidney Cancer
If you are living with kidney cancer, our urology specialists will design a customized treatment plan that is based on the specific type of kidney cancer you have, kidney cancer stage, your age and your overall health. UH Seidman Cancer Center follows an evidence-based approach to kidney cancer treatment. Our team works together to determine the highest possible cure rate with the lowest risk of complication. While traditional chemotherapy or radiation are occasionally used in a comprehensive approach to kidney cancer treatment, the following more advanced treatments are generally the more widely accepted treatment choices at University Hospitals:
- Immunotherapy: Using your own immune system to fight cancer, immunotherapy works by either stimulating your own immune cells or providing man-made immune system proteins to strengthen your immune system. These help your system fight very specific parts of kidney cancer cells or help your immune system better recognize and fight kidney cancer cells.
- Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT): At the same time as a surgical resection, or removal of the cancer, our team is able to boost cancer treatment with IORT. UH has the longest history of using this innovative treatment by delivering single dose radiation during surgery, with fewer side effects.
- Proton therapy: For some kidney cancer patients, proton therapy is a treatment available at University Hospitals to target radiation therapy precisely to the cancerous tissue, without harming surrounding tissue.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery: Through ground-breaking research and clinical trials at University Hospitals, our team offers very intensive high doses of radiation therapy directly to the kidney cancer in a unique partnership between surgeons and radiation oncologists.This maximum dose of radiation can be delivered with surgical precision and little to no side effects.
- Surgery: If your tumor is confined to the kidney or to the area around the kidney, it may need to be surgically removed. We are experts in a variety of surgical procedures including laparoscopic or minimally invasive partial nephrectomy which removed only part of your kidney or complete nephrectomy which removes all of your kidney. In addition, enlarged lymph nodes surrounding the kidney may also be removed.
- Robotic nephrectomy: Surgeons at UH have the ability to employ robotic surgery technology to perform partial and complete nephrectomies to treat kidney cancer, as well as lymph node dissection if necessary. Using the da Vinci robotic surgery system, our surgeons can perform this surgery with superior precision, range of motion and better visibility of the surgical field. Benefits of robotic surgery to treat kidney cancer include less pain and blood loss, lower risk of complications or infection, shorter hospital stays, and faster recoveries.
- Robotic pyleplasty: Urology surgeons at UH can also perform robotic pyeloplasty procedures using the da Vinci robotic surgery system. This procedure is used to correct a blockage or narrowing of the ureter where it leaves the kidney, a condition known as a ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction.
- Systemic or targeted therapy: To help regulate cancer cell growth, targeted therapies are used to identify unique aspects of specific kidney cancer cells. With a targeted approach, we can restrict blood supply and interfere with tumor growth to cause the death of the cancer cells.
Expert Diagnostic Capability to Monitor Health Status
Active surveillance is the standard of care if you have kidney cancer but are in generally good health and experiencing few or no symptoms. This treatment involves monitoring your tumor with regular appointments and advanced diagnostic tests, including:
- Computed Tomography (CT): With detailed cross-sectional images of your kidney, a CT scan provides precise information about the location of a kidney tumor, but also the size and shape.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): With detail of both the kidney and major blood vessels in the abdomen, an MRI can determine any spread of kidney cancer.
- Advanced positron emission tomography(PET): While not as detailed an image as a CT or MRI, a PET scan shows if suspicious tissue is likely to be cancerous, including if kidney cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
To determine the optimal timing and type of more advanced treatment, our team carefully monitors your individual condition, in many cases within our regional community locations. With our system of care at University Hospitals, our radiology experts also provide advanced imaging services such as diffusion-weighted MRI with contrast to better visualize tissue to determine response to therapies.
Expertise in Treating all Types of Kidney Cancer
Initially, you may not notice any symptoms of kidney cancer. It is important to be watchful for any that may arise such as blood in your urine, unexplained weight loss, a lump in your abdomen, appetite loss or persistent pain in your sides.
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering and cleaning your blood, taking out waste products and producing urine. Kidney cancer may form in the lining of the tiny tubes inside of your kidneys which will limit your ability to perform these basic functions.
The most common form of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma, also called RCC. Since clear cell carcinoma accounts for about 80% of all RCC cases, the majority of treatments are focused on this type of kidney cancer.
Access to Kidney Cancer Specific Research and Clinical Trials
Our extensive cancer team at UH Seidman Cancer Center is helping to determine the next generation of innovations in kidney cancer care. Internationally recognized radiation oncology experts at UH are on the Renal Task Force for the National Cancer Institute to evaluate national and international research opportunities to improve care. In addition, University Hospitals participates in the International Radiation Oncology Consortium for Kidney (IROCK) to gather data for stereotactic radiosurgery for kidney cancer to continue to investigate opportunities to enhance outcomes.
UH Seidman Cancer Center offers kidney cancer specific clinical trials for eligible patients. By participating in a clinical trial, you can receive access to cutting-edge treatments that are not always available. By receiving your care at an academic medical center such as University Hospitals, clinical trials can provide additional treatment options for more advanced care.
Learn More About Our Kidney Cancer Services
For more information on kidney cancer or to schedule an appointment with one of our kidney cancer specialists, contact us today.