Three-pronged attack on kidney cancer
Each year there are around 400,000 people worldwide diagnosed with kidney cancer. Survival rates have improved dramatically over the last 40 years, but, in the UK, only half of people will still be alive 10 years after diagnosis. New immunotherapy treatments, such as the drug nivolumab, have helped give patients with advanced kidney cancer a longer and better quality of life, but it only seems to work in around a quarter of patients.
Professor Hardev Pandha, based at the University of Surrey, England, wants to make drugs like nivolumab work for as many patients as possible. His team are investigating a new three-pronged combination therapy that they hope will ultimately improve how nivolumab works. They are using a genetically modified virus that has been designed to help the immune system target and destroy cancer cells, alongside a second drug that “starves” the cancer cells of certain nutrients. Combining these two drugs with nivolumab could make this treatment more effective for more people. All of these drugs are currently being tested in patients so, if successful, this work could be rapidly taking forward into clinical trials.
This project has been made possible thanks to a co-funding partnership with Kidney Research UK.