At Fred Hutch, we study the basic biology of kidney cancer and explore new drugs and immunotherapies to treat the disease.
Clinical research is an essential part of the scientific process that leads to new treatments and better care. Clinical trials can also be a way for patients to get early access to new cutting-edge therapies. Our clinical research teams are running clinical studies on various kinds of kidney cancers.
Kidney cancer, also called Renal cell carcinoma, occurs when cancer cells form in the tubules of the kidney. Tubules are tiny tubes in your kidney that help filter waste products from your blood in order to make urine. Renal cell carcinoma can spread from a mass of cancer cells or tumor to other parts of your body. This process is called metastasis.
Urothelial carcinoma, also called Transitional cell cancer (TCC) is a rare type of kidney cancer. It begins in the area of the kidney where urine collects before moving to the bladder, called the renal pelvis. TCC is the most common kind of bladder cancer. Because transitional cells line many different parts of your urinary tract system, you can sometimes develop tumors in more than one place.
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer. The kidneys are located on either side of the spine towards the lower back. The kidneys work by cleaning out waste products in the blood. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma is also called conventional renal cell carcinoma. It is the most common type of kidney cancer, and makes up about 80 percent of all renal cell carcinoma cases.
Kidney cancer is generally considered incurable once it spreads to other parts of the body. Fred Hutch scientists are researching ways to treat and even prevent advanced forms of kidney cancer through targeted new drug therapies and by training the body’s own immune system to fight tumors. For example, our scientists are reprogramming patients’ own T cells to better recognize and target kidney cancer cells. We also test drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, which take the brakes off a patient’s immune system so it mounts a better response against kidney cancer.
Our partners at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance use OncoScan, a genome-scanning technology, to determine whether the specific chromosomal abnormalities commonly found in kidney cancers are linked to patients’ outcomes after treatment with immunotherapies.