Brain imaging with CT, MRI in kidney cancer patients finds metastases

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

April 14, 2021 -- Baseline brain imaging using CT or MRI in patients with metastatic kidney cancer can identify brain metastases before symptoms appear, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris found that 4% of a cohort of 1,689 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma were found to have asymptomatic brain metastases on brain imaging. Patients underwent the brain imaging in order to be considered for participation in clinical trials (JNCCN, April 2021, Vol. 19:4, pp. 432-438).

Those patients found to have brain metastases had a median overall survival rate of 48%, and a median overall survival of 10.3 months, the group found. It also discovered that 86% of these patients had metastatic disease in two or more organ systems, such as the lung, liver, and bone.

The findings suggest that kidney cancer patients may benefit from brain imaging as their doctors stage their treatment.

"With 4% overall incidence in this cohort, one might conclude that baseline brain imaging should be considered in all patients with metastatic kidney cancer, particularly those with multiorgan involvement and/or pulmonary metastases," lead researcher Dr. Ritesh Kotecha of Memorial Sloan Kettering said in a statement released by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.


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