Even after kidney cancer surgery, you may be at risk of your cancer coming back

SUTENT is the only FDA-approved adjuvant therapy for adults with kidney cancer that has not spread (localized) and who are at high risk of RCC coming back after having kidney surgery.

About kidney cancer surgery

If you’ve had or are considering kidney cancer surgery, it’s important to understand the role it plays in your treatment. Surgery is often the standard approach to treat kidney cancer. The goal of kidney cancer surgery is to physically remove all of
the cancer by taking out the tumor.

How kidney cancer can come back after surgery

Even after kidney cancer surgery, you may be at risk of your cancer coming back. That’s because it’s possible that some cancer cells were too small to be detected and could have spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, bones, liver, or brain. These cancer cells can then grow into tumors. When this happens, it’s called metastatic cancer.

of patients at high risk of cancer coming back will have a recurrence within 5 years.

What determines your risk of kidney cancer returning?

There are many factors that determine your risk of cancer returning, including the results of your pathology report. So, it’s important to review these results with your doctor after surgery. He or she will use the pathology report to help determine if you are at high risk of recurrence, and if you are, discuss your options.

of patients at high risk of cancer coming back will have a recurrence within 5 years.

What is adjuvant therapy?

Adjuvant therapy is an additional treatment taken after your primary treatment, such as surgery. The goal of adjuvant therapy is to help reduce the risk of recurrence. As you read on, you’ll find out more about SUTENT, the only FDA-approved adjuvant therapy for adults with kidney cancer that has not spread (localized) and who are at high risk of RCC coming back after having kidney surgery.

You may be referred to an oncologist for your treatment with SUTENT.

SUTENT Clinical Trial Results

SUTENT was studied in a clinical trial involving 615 adult patients who were at high risk of RCC coming back after kidney cancer surgery. For approximately 1 year after kidney cancer surgery, 309 patients took SUTENT, while 306 took a placebo, or sugar pill.

The main objective of the trial was to measure disease-free survival (DFS). DFS is the length of time after cancer treatment that a patient lives without the signs or symptoms of cancer. This is one way to check how effective treatment is.

Along with DFS, the study also looked at overall survival (OS). This is the total time patients remain alive after treatment. By the end of the study, 141 out of 615 people (23%) who participated had died. At the time data was collected, there was not enough information available to predict SUTENT’s impact on OS.

Understanding clinical trial results

Patients taking SUTENT experienced a median DFS of 6.8 years compared with 5.6 years for those taking placebo. That means SUTENT was shown to:

Give patients more time without evidence of cancer.

Patients taking SUTENT showed no evidence of cancer for, on average, 1.2 years longer than those taking placebo.

Lower the risk of cancer recurrence.

Patients taking SUTENT were 24% less likely to have a recurrence compared to those taking placebo.

At 5 years, 113 patients taking SUTENT had experienced a DFS event compared with 144 patients taking placebo. That means:

Patients taking SUTENT experienced about 22% fewer DFS events. DFS events included recurrence of cancer or death.

Patients taking SUTENT experienced a 5-year DFS rate of 59.3% compared with 51.3%
for those taking placebo. That means:

Patients taking SUTENT were more likely to be disease-free after 5 years.

SUTENT is not a cure, and not all patients will experience the same results.

In the clinical trial, patients taking SUTENT as adjuvant therapy started within 3 to 12 weeks after surgery.

Talk to your doctor before or soon after surgery to determine if SUTENT is an option for you.