June 2021
Speaking Up for Kidney Cancer Patients
KidneyCAN: A Voice in Washington
Cures for kidney cancer will only come as a result of research, and research requires funding. Much of that funding comes from Washington, D.C.

KidneyCAN President Bryan Lewis met with Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN), along with Dr. Michael Atkins of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, to discuss research funding and recovering from kidney cancer. They were joined by Liz Leff of the National Kidney Foundation, who, along with Bryan and Rep. Hagedorn, is also a kidney cancer survivor.

This important conversation was filmed and will be broadcast in July as a special educational feature for patients. Stay tuned!
District Days: Your Turn to Speak Up
August 9th-10th
Whether you are a patient or a caregiver or a doctor, whether you are in recovery or active treatment, your kidney cancer experiences form a powerful story. Telling your story can help others understand the impact of kidney cancer on people all over the United States.

In 2016, Congress allocated $0 in funding dedicated to kidney cancer research. Through the power of advocacy, we have raised that number to $135 million in five years. We need YOU to keep this funding in place. Please plan to join our grassroots army for our second District Days event, where we ask Congress to continue funding lifesaving research for kidney cancer patients.
No previous advocacy experience necessary. All patients, families, caregivers, friends, and medical professionals welcome. Advocates meet virtually with their representatives and Congressional staff in their home districts to ask for research funding.

We provide training with Advocacy 101, a detailed guide to help you know what to expect and how to talk to your representatives about kidney cancer research funding. You will receive a meeting schedule, talking points, scripts you can use if you would like, and leave-behind documents.

We need you! Join us!
A Global Voice: World Kidney Cancer Day
Kidney cancer has a profound impact on both the physical and mental health of people around the world. June 17th was World Kidney Cancer Day, an event sponsored by the International Kidney Cancer Coalition, an organization with the goal of reducing the global burden of kidney cancer.

This year's theme focused on mental health. We want patients and caregivers to understand that they are not alone when dealing with the emotional burden of kidney cancer.

Learn more and get resources to support your mental wellbeing at the World Kidney Cancer Day website.
KidneyCAN Community Spotlight
Dr. John T. Wilson Provides "A Lot of Reason to Hope"
Dr. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt University.
Dr. John T. Wilson conducts kidney cancer research at Vanderbilt University and received a grant funded by the Kidney Cancer Research Program.

We asked Dr. Wilson to share some of his experiences and insights with us.

"Kidney cancer was amongst the first to be treated with immunotherapy, and there is clear evidence that the immune system, if properly activated and directed, can be potently harnessed to combat some types of kidney cancer. However, despite the success of immunotherapy in kidney cancer, there is still much room for improvement and so we are very interested in developing new therapeutics that may allow us to take the next step in improving immunotherapy outcomes. "
Research Update: Better Treatment Options
With 3.5 years of follow-up to the phase 3 KEYNOTE-426 trial (NCT02853331), frontline treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with the combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus axitinib (Inlyta) led to a survival benefit over sunitinib (Sutent), according to a presentation of the results at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

Study author Brian Rini says, "With a median follow-up of 42.8 months, KEYNOTE-426 represents the longest follow-up of a checkpoint inhibitor combined with a VEGF/VEGFR inhibitor for first-line clear cell RCC."

We're excited to have better treatment options and see the long term results!
Brian I. Rini, MD, a professor of medicine and the inaugural chief of Clinical Trials at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is the lead study author.
Research Update: Delaying or Preventing the Return of Cancer
Some cancers have good options to delay or prevent the return of cancer.

Findings from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-564 trial showed that adjuvant pembrolizumab (Keytruda) led to a significant reduction in the risk of disease recurrence or death versus placebo in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The standard-of-care treatment for patients with locoregional RCC is surgery; however, nearly half of patients eventually experience disease recurrence. Currently, there is no standard adjuvant systemic therapy that is supported by high levels of evidence worldwide.

Study author Toni K. Choueiri, MD, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, director of the Kidney Cancer Center, and senior physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as well as Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg chair and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said during the press briefing. “KEYNOTE-564 is the first positive phase 3 study of an adjuvant immunotherapy for patients with RCC. Pembrolizumab is a potential new standard of care for patients with RCC in the adjuvant setting.”

Kidney cancer researchers are making progress in improving disease-free survival after surgery, which is great news for patients!
Every day in the United States, we lose almost 40 people to kidney cancer.
Our work is urgent, and we need your support.

Our mission is to accelerate cures for kidney cancer. We engage in patient advocacy and power research by supporting government and industry research funding, facilitating research collaborations, and offering direct financial support for clinical and laboratory researchers with promising ideas. Together, we can find the cure.
Thank you for being part of our grassroots army!
KidneyCAN is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and does not receive any funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) or KCRP (Kidney Cancer Research Program). KidneyCAN's work is funded entirely through donations.