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Drug Therapies

Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

I have just been diagnosed with a 3cm tumor on my left kidney. My problem is back in 2009 I had a partial nephrectomy on my right kidney, and I have CKD my gfr is at 21 and creatine is 3.5. Because of this surgery is out of the question. My nephrologist has told me there are several drugs that are used to treat kidney cancer, and I have an appt. with urologist in 10 days to discuss. Has anyone had any success with any drug treatment?


garym's picture
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009


There are several people here that are fighting recurrences with a variety of drugs and trials and they may weigh in with good information. Another possibility to consider, though it may not be preferred, is dialysis, the kidney and cancer could be removed and you could still lead a relatively normal life aside from the inconvenience. I believe lb posted that she has a friend who has been on dialysis for over 20 years.

Good luck no matter what,


livealive's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

Where are you located ?
Age ?
Have you seen an oncologist ? Urologists are not qualified enough to discuss medication.
Have they considered partial on the left ?
There are several drugs - and I am not qualified to state them, but they target tumors and possibly shrink them.
Problem is - unless they remove the tumor, how would they know what it is and what to treat you for ?

Sorry, I wish I had answers, but those are the questions that will determine your answers.

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2798
Joined: Nov 2011

Outside Philadelphia? 67? Veteran. Seen nephrologists, urologists and oncologists? Surgery already ruled out on current physiological parameters? Is your right kidney still clear of infection? Has a biopsy been considered, to give some guidance as to the best choice of drugs? Contrast excluded? They'll need to consider which possible drugs you will be able to tolerate in terms of side-effects but there are a number of choices these days.

Good luck - hope the discussions you're about to have are fruitful.

Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2009

I do live outside of Philadelphia, and I get my treatment at the Philadelphia VA Hospital.
My right kidney has been clean. I have had MRI's without contrast, as my nephrologist feels my kidneys couldn't handle the contrast.


lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

Sorry to hear that you've had a recurrance - always something that lurks in the back of our minds.

My first suggestion would be to get an oncologist. Undoubtedly your urologist and nephrologist are knowledgable and good doctors. Oncologists, though, know the ins and outs of cancer and their treatments and will work in concert with your other doctors.

In the past 5 years a number of drug therapies have been approved for RCC - I was put on Sutent with my 2nd recurrance (wasn't available for my first). Side effects vary with each individual and working closely with an oncologist can help find the right one for you.

I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you, and others, who get RCC in your otherwise healthy kidney. Very scary and you may face dialysis somewhere in the future. My brother-in-law was on dialysis for 20 years - 3 times a week. It is a significant change in life-style - he could no longer work so went on disability - but he lived a good life with his wife and 4 children.

Please keep posting and give us updates on how you're doing and the decisions you choose.

Prayers ............


livealive's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

LB, did the Sutent work ? (I am hoping it did), I need to make some decisions on a trial, and want to know if there is recourse out there in case I don't do the trial.
Please write ?

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