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Pembrolizumab recommended as an adjuvant therapy for RCC across UK

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Kidney Cancer News, Scottish News | 0 comments

The Scottish Medical Consortium have recommended Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as a monotherapy which is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of adults with RCC with increased risk of recurrence following nephrectomy or following nephrectomy and resection of metastatic lesions. This is the first adjuvant treatment for RCC in the UK and gives hope to many kidney cancer patients. It has also been approved by NICE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

After nephrectomy, RCC recurs in 20% to 40% of patients with clinically localised disease (8). The greatest risk of recurrence for RCC occurs within the first 5 years after nephrectomy, with the majority of recurrences occurring within 3 years. Tumour stage plays an important role in timing of recurrence; the incidence of RCC recurrence after nephrectomy has been reported to be 7% with a median time of 38 months for T1 tumours, 26% with a median time of 32 months for T2 disease, and 39% with a median time to recurrence at 17 months for T3 tumours (8). Therefore, new treatments with durable clinical benefit and a potential curative effect are still needed. Where the primary tumour has been successfully removed and patients have been declared disease-free, the aim of adjuvant treatment is to prevent recurrence of disease.

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is a type of immunotherapy. It stimulates the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. It is also used to treat non small cell lung cancer, skin cancer, bladder cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma.

The approval of Pembrolizumab as the first adjuvant treatment for RCC in the UK is a very positive step and brings hope and reassurance to many kidney cancer patients.


<a href="" target="_self">Malcolm Packer</a>

Malcolm Packer

Malcolm is Chief Executive Officer at Kidney Cancer UK and Kidney Cancer Scotland and has worked with the charity in various capacities for over 15 years.