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Kidney Cancer treatment details. Biologic therapy. Immunotherapy. Leon Berard Center, Lyon, France

Survival: 16.8 months
Toxicity Grade: 4
Treatments: Biologic therapy
Country: France
City/State/Province: Lyon
Hospital: Leon Berard Center
Journal: Link
Date: 12/2007

Patients: This study involved 492 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer). The median age was 61, ranging from 33-80 years old. The majority, 75%, were men. Almost all patients (96%) had previously undergone a nephrectomy.

Treatment: There were four different treatment groups. These groups received medroxyprogesterone, interferon alfa-2a, interleukin 2, or both interferon alfa-2a and interleukin 2 . Medroxyprogesterone is a hormone/steroid that interferes with cells dividing and proliferating (trade names are Depo-Provera®, Farlutal®, and Provera®). Interferon and interleukin are molecules called cytokines that are made naturally by the body. They influence how your immune system works.

Toxicity: There were more grade 3 or 4 adverse events in patients treated with the cytokines. The most common grade 3 or 4 event was fever, which was reported in 25.2% of patients treated with both cytokines. Other grade 3 or 4 toxicities included anemia, hypotension, nausea, neutropenia, and pulmonary symptoms. These occurred in less than 10% of patients in each group.

Results: The median overall survival was 16.8 months for patients receiving both cytokines; 15.3 months for those receiving interleukin 2 only; 15.2 months for interferon alfa-2a treated patients, and 14.9 months for patients treated with medroxyprogesterone. The authors of the study determined that there was no significant difference in survival between the patients receiving one or both cytokines, but that this treatment did result in more toxicities.

Correspondence: Dr. Sylvie Negrier

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