Active observation still the best treatment for kidney cancer patients at medium or high risk of their cancer coming back after surgery

28 Sep 2019

Active observation remains the best treatment for patients who are at medium or high risk of their cancer coming back after surgery to remove their kidney cancer. Results from the SORCE trial were presented today at the ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. SORCE recruited 1711 patients with kidney cancer after they had surgery to remove their cancer. They were randomly allocated to receive one of three treatments:

  • Three years of active observation and a placebo (dummy treatment)
  • One year of treatment with a drug called sorafenib, followed by two years of placebo
  • Three years of treatment with sorafenib

SORCE found that patients treated with sorafenib for up to three years did not live any longer without their cancer returning than those who received active observation only.

Tim Eisen (Cambridge, UK) said: "The results for the SORCE trial have definitively shown that sorafenib is not helpful for people who are at risk of their cancer returning after surgery for kidney cancer. SORCE, together with results from other studies, shows that none of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors are of significant benefit in this setting. Trying to find treatments which will reduce the risk of relapse after surgery for kidney cancer remains a very important issue."

Angela Meade (MRC CTU at UCL) said: "While these results are disappointing to the many patients who took part in SORCE, they are very important as we now know that sorafenib should not be used in this setting. We have a new trial called RAMPART, investigating drugs that target the immune system. We hope that these drugs will be beneficial to patients who have had their kidney cancer removed by surgery."

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