Lifting the lid on kidney cancer: Exposing the underlying genetics
In the early 1980s, little was known about the genetic basis of kidney cancer, and patients continued to succumb to the disease despite chemotherapy treatment. Today, more than 13,000 renal carcinoma patients in the U.S. still die every year , demonstrating a continuing need for better approaches to battling this disease.
During the past two decades, IRP researcher W. Marston Linehan, M.D., and colleagues made seminal discoveries about the genetic basis of kidney cancer, including identification of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene (the 6th human cancer gene identified) and the hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma (HPRC), hereditary leiomyomatosis, and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) genes: c-Met, BHD, and fumarate hydratase.
These discoveries have led to new approaches for molecular-based therapies against renal carcinoma, and clinical trials are now ongoing with a number of promising treatments.
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