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Blood Test to Detect Kidney Cancer 5 Years Before Diagnosis

Published: 2018-08-22 - Updated: 2022-09-11
Author: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Contact: bidmc.harvard.edu
Peer-Reviewed Publication: Yes
Additional References: Kidney Cancer Publications

Synopsis: Molecule KIM-1 protein in the blood of some patients with renal cell carcinoma is at elevated levels and may predict kidney cancer up to 5 years before diagnosis. Every year, over 330,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer worldwide. More than 80% of those new cases are renal cell carcinomas (RCC). Patients diagnosed with more invasive kidney tumors have dramatically poorer prognoses, with five-year survival rates of 50 percent and 10 percent for patients diagnosed at stages III and IV, respectively.

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Definition

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the kidney. It can also be called renal cell cancer, the most common type of kidney and renal pelvis cancer. Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), also known as renal cell cancer or renal cell adenocarcinoma, is the most common type of kidney cancer. There are several subtypes of RCC, based mainly on how the cancer cells look in the lab. About 9 out of 10 kidney cancers are renal cell carcinomas. Other kidney cancers include transitional cell carcinomas, Wilms tumors, and renal sarcomas. Also See: List of Kidney Diseases and Conditions.

Main Digest

Every year, over 330,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer worldwide. More than 80% of those new cases are renal cell carcinomas (RCC). When caught early, the five-year survival rate is more than 90 percent.

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Patients diagnosed with more invasive tumors, however, have dramatically poorer prognoses, with five-year survival rates of 50 percent and 10 percent for patients diagnosed at stages III and IV, respectively. Early detection could improve the overall survival rate in patients at high risk for death from RCC.

Now, a team of investigators led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) medical oncologist Rupal Bhatt, MD, Ph.D., has demonstrated that a molecule called KIM-1, a protein present in the blood of some patients with renal cell carcinoma is present at elevated levels at the time of diagnosis, can also serve as a tool to predict the disease's onset up to five years before diagnosis. The team's findings were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Rupal Bhatt, M.D., Ph.D., corresponding author and medical oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Photo Credit: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Rupal Bhatt, M.D., Ph.D., corresponding author and medical oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Photo Credit: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

"Our study found a significant association between plasma KIM-1 concentrations and the risk of renal cell carcinomas," said Bhatt, corresponding author of the study and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"The team also found that KIM-1 concentrations were associated with poorer survival. Further studies are needed, but a sensitive and specific tumor marker that can detect early-stage RCC would have strong potential to improve overall survival."

Bhatt and colleagues, including co-first author David Muller, Ph.D., a research fellow in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Imperial College London, analyzed data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), one of the world's largest cohort studies investigating the link between diet, lifestyle and environment and chronic diseases including cancer.

When the team compared KIM-1 concentrations in samples from EPIC participants who developed RCC within five years with participants who remained healthy, they found the average concentration of KIM-1 was double in those eventually diagnosed with RCC. Moreover, including KIM-1 concentrations in a model for predicting kidney cancer risk approximately doubled the model's accuracy.

"This work is a big step forward because KIM-1 is the only blood biomarker shown prospectively to distinguish between people at high and low risk of kidney cancer," said Muller. "But more work will be necessary before we see this in the clinic."

"It will be important to understand more about the settings in which KIM-1 might be incorporated into patient care," added Bhatt. "We don't expect that KIM-1 will be useful as a screening test, as the risk of RCC in the general population is low. KIM-1 is more likely to be relevant in high-risk populations or as an adjunct to other diagnostic procedures."

In addition to Bhatt and Muller, co-authors include co-first author Ghislaine Scelo of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Venkata Sabbisetti and Joseph V. Bonventre of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health Funding (R01 CA196996 and P50 CA101942-12) and a Cancer Research UK Population Research Fellowship.

Reference Source(s):

Blood Test to Detect Kidney Cancer 5 Years Before Diagnosis | Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (bidmc.harvard.edu). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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Cite This Page (APA): Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2018, August 22). Blood Test to Detect Kidney Cancer 5 Years Before Diagnosis. Disabled World. Retrieved February 6, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/kidney/kim-1.php

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