City of Hope has one of the largest numbers of open kidney cancer clinical trials underway on the West Coast. Our scientists are engaged in outcomes, translational, and basic science research. We also collaborate on research projects with other institutions, such as MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts.
Some of the innovative clinical trials underway at City of Hope include:
• PD-1 inhibitors (nivolumab): These drugs stimulate the body's immune system to fight kidney cancer. City of Hope has ongoing studies in conjunction with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia
• S1PR1 inhibitors (ASONEP/sonepcizumab): These drugs also stimulate the anticancer immune response, but through a mechanism that is distinct (this mechanism was uncovered at City of Hope). City of Hope is doing this study in association with the Harvard Cancer Center.
• Stem cell (CD105) antibodies (TRC105): These studies are exploring drugs that target cancer stem cells; these drugs target the "bad" stem cells that appear to be responsible for the growth and propagation of kidney cancer.
• MET inhibitors (XL184/cabozantinib): Led by City of Hope investigators, this study is exploring MET inhibitors; this class of drugs may be helpful in papillary kidney cancer, one of the more uncommon subtypes of the disease.
• Prevention of kidney cancer recurrence (pazopanib, everolimus): There are many drugs approved to treat metastatic kidney cancer, and the trials noted above explore treatments in this setting. However, City of Hope has two large trials underway for patients who have had their tumors surgically removed; these trials use conventional drugs for metastatic kidney cancer to determine if they have a preventative effect.
• Imaging of kidney cancer: In addition to using leading-edge robotic techniques, City of Hope surgeons have been exploring the use of fluorescent dyes that may highlight areas of kidney cancer during surgical procedures; this may prove to be an invaluable technique that enables surgeons to more completely excise kidney cancer.
There are a number of studies that are ongoing collaborations between the medical and research teams at City of Hope. One example is a protocol that will examine the bacterial stool content of patients receiving drugs for kidney cancer. Diarrhea is a common side effect of these drugs, and studies underway may ultimately eliminate such side effects. Scientists are also conducting biologic studies to explore rare types of kidney cancer, such as sarcomatoid kidney cancer. Using tumor tissues derived from patients at City of Hope, these biologic studies aim to uncover new treatments for the disease.