Best Life: New combination therapy to help kidney cancer patients

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 2:57 PM CDT
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SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— According to the American Cancer Society, more than 75,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with kidney cancer this year.

In the early stages, cancer can be treatable, but treatment gets tricky when cancer has spread. Now, details on a combination therapy that is stopping cancer in its tracks.

Brent Hall loves living life at full speed.

“The fastest I’ve gone is 174 miles per hour. My long-term dream is to become an unlimited hydroplane driver. First African American unlimited hydroplane driver,” Hall shared.

But about three years ago, his world came to a grinding halt.

“I noticed there was some blood in my urine. I found out that I kidney cancer,” Hall recalled.

And the cancer had spread to his lungs.

“There was one sort of golf ball sized tumor in his lung. If he had not been treated, the prognosis was probably that he would die within a year,” described John Gore, MD, MS, professor at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Brent had a minimally invasive procedure to remove the cancer-affected kidney.

Then after surgery, doctors used a combination of two immunotherapies to get rid of the cancer that had spread outside his kidneys.

“He received a combination of these two drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab. They turn back on the immune system so it can fight the cancer,” Dr. Gore explained.

The FDA approved the combination therapy after studies showed patients had a significant improvement in overall survival with the therapy compared to those patients who got chemotherapy.

After a few months on the therapy, Brent’s cancer started reducing in size.

Eventually, the treatment eliminated the cancer from Brent’s lungs and now he is back doing what he loves.

“Once you’re in the boat and you’re strapped in, you have an air mask on, you don’t think about anything except going out and kicking some butt,” Hall exclaimed.

Leaving cancer and his opponents in the dust.

The FDA has also approved the combination therapy for other cancers, including small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, head and neck cancers, and colorectal cancer.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Milvionne Chery, Field Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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