Surgery and High-Dose SBRT Radiation Can Be Combined to Treat Kidney Cancer, New Roswell Park Research Shows

Drs. Thomas Schwaab, Anurag Singh and Jason Muhitch of Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Our findings suggest that it may be possible to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies by first priming the pump with high-dose radiation.”

Surgery and High-Dose SBRT Radiation Can Be Combined to Treat Kidney Cancer, Roswell Park Researchers Show

First clinical study to show benefit of surgery following SBRT, and to demonstrate that SBRT stimulates immune system


  • Study combined high-dose radiation and surgery for patients with kidney cancer
  • Provides first evidence that SBRT radiation can stimulate the immune system
  • Findings set stage for new treatment combinations incorporating immunotherapy

A new study from Roswell Park Cancer Institute reporting the findings of the first clinical trial to evaluate the immune effects of high-dose radiation therapy followed by surgery in patients with advanced kidney cancer may also set the stage for combination treatments with immunotherapy. The research, published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), shows that nephrectomy can be effectively paired with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), and also provides strong evidence that immunotherapy may be an effective third element to incorporate into this combination therapy strategy.

In a pilot clinical study, 14 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) were treated with SBRT in a single administration, or fraction, followed four weeks later by cytoreductive nephrectomy, or surgery to remove or reduce the size of their tumors. The team set out to assess the safety and feasibility of this approach and analyze the immunological impact of high-dose radiation. Based on…

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