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Where Does Kidney Cancer Metastasis

The Following Stages Are Used For Renal Cell Cancer:

Kidney Cancer: Treatment for Stage 4 (Metastatic)

Stage I

In stage I, the tumor is 7 centimeters or smaller and is found in the kidney only.

Stage II

In stage II, the tumor is larger than 7 centimeters and is found in the kidney only.

Stage III

In stage III, one of the following is found:

  • the cancer in the kidney is any size and cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes; or
  • cancer has spread to blood vessels in or near the kidney , to the fat around the structures in the kidney that collect urine, or to the layer of fatty tissue around the kidney. Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Stage IV

In stage IV, one of the following is found:

  • cancer has spread beyond the layer of fatty tissue around the kidney and may have spread into the adrenal gland above the kidney with cancer or to nearby lymph nodes; or
  • cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs, brain, adrenal glands, or distant lymph nodes.

Adjuvant And Neoadjuvant Therapy

Adjuvant therapy, which refers to therapy given after a primary surgery, has not been found to be beneficial in renal cell cancer. Conversely, neoadjuvant therapy is administered before the intended primary or main treatment. In some cases neoadjuvant therapy has been shown to decrease the size and stage of the RCC to then allow it to be surgically removed. This is a new form of treatment and the effectiveness of this approach is still being assessed in clinical trials.

Tnm Staging And The Stages Of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is described in stages that the American Joint Committee on Cancer developed. The system is better known as the TNM system.

  • T refers to the tumor. Doctors assign a T with a number thats based on the size and growth of the tumor.
  • N describes whether the cancer has spread to any nodes in the lymph system.
  • M means the cancer has metastasized.

Based on the characteristics above, doctors assign RCC a stage. The stage is based on the size of the tumor and the spread of the cancer.

There are four stages:

  • Stages 1 and 2 describe cancers in which the tumor is still in the kidney. Stage 2 means that the tumor is larger than seven centimeters across.
  • Stages 3 and 4 mean the cancer has either spread into a major vein or nearby tissue or to lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4 is the most advanced form of the disease. Stage 4 means that the cancer has spread to the adrenal gland or has spread to distant lymph nodes or other organs. Because the adrenal gland is attached to the kidney, the cancer often spreads there first.

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What Is Active Monitoring Of Kidney Cancer

Most people who are diagnosed with kidney cancer are in their 60s or 70s. I tell my patients, if youre in your 70s and have an early stage 1 kidney tumor, its much more likely that you will die of something other than kidney cancer over the next five years. Thus, most people in their 70s or 80s with stage 1 kidney cancer will die with it, not of it. Heart attacks, strokes, and many other medical conditions that are fairly common among older patients are more likely to be fatal than a kidney tumor that is in this early stage.Active monitoring often is a safe, effective option for older patients who have multiple medical conditions. Patients who arent in the best of health are good candidates for active monitoring because we can possibly spare them from surgery or other treatments.

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Tests To Confirm The Diagnosis

Understanding the Spread: Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

An ultrasound scan of the kidney can usually detect a kidney cancer. This is often one of the first tests done if your doctor suspects that you may have kidney cancer. An ultrasound scan is a safe and painless test which uses sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body. See the separate leaflet called Ultrasound Scan for more details. A more sophisticated scan called a computerised tomography scan may be used if there is doubt about the diagnosis.

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Distribution And Prognosis Of Distant Metastatic Sites

The main metastatic sites of kidney cancer were the bones, brain, liver, and lungs, which composed of 7,891 of all patients. The information of the four main distant metastatic organs is summarized in Table 2. It was found that 5,465 patients were diagnosed with lung metastasis, 1,865 patients with liver metastasis, 3,386 patients with bone metastasis, and only 999 patients with brain metastasis. We plotted the distribution of four main metastatic organs in the Venn diagram . The detailed metastatic sites of patients with more than one organ metastasis are presented in the overlapping area of the Venn diagram.

Table 2. Characteristics of patients and metastatic organs of original cohort.

Figure 2. Venn diagram of distributions of main distant metastatic organs in metastatic kidney cancer. KaplanMeier Curves and log-rank test for the survival analysis in the original cohort. Comparing the overall survival between the surgery and no surgery groups among patients with bone metastasis status , brain metastasis status , liver metastasis status , and lung metastasis status , respectively.

Those patients with different metastatic sites were extracted separately, and OS was compared between the surgery and no surgery groups. The KaplanMeier analysis indicated that patients receiving surgery had OS benefits among those patients with bone metastasis status , brain metastasis status , liver metastasis status , and lung metastasis status , respectively.

How Fast Does Kidney Cancer Spread

As with many other types of cancer, several factors determine how fast kidney cancer can spread. Your age, overall health and the type of kidney cancer all play a role in whether the disease is fast- or slow-growing.

The spread pattern depends on how aggressive the cells are, says Saby George, MD, FACP, Department of Medicine. The most common type of kidney cancer, clear cell renal cell carcinoma, can have various subtypes within it. There are two subtypes, sarcomatoid and rhabdoid, that can spread very quickly and cause havoc throughout the body.

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What Is Metastatic Kidney Cancer

Over time the cancer cells that started in the kidney can break away from the primary tumor and spread to other areas of the body through circulation or/and lymphatic system . The process of this spread is called metastasis.

Metastatic kidney cancer means the cancer has spread to another part of the body or if has affected more than one lymph node. It is the most advanced stage of the disease and more difficult to treat.

Once the cancer cells enter the circulation or lymphatic system, they can spread to any part of the body. Many of these cells dont survive. But some may settle in a new area, start to grow and form a new tumor called secondary cancer.

Steps of how kidney cancer spreads

Actually, its not easy for the primary cancer in the kidney to spread and cause secondary cancer in another part of the body. The body has its own natural defense mechanism to fight against the cancer.

To spread and form a new cancerous growth in new parts of the body, the cancer cells need to go through the following steps:

  • First off, the cancer cells need to break away from the primary tumor and then go to the circulation or lymph system.
  • They also have to be able to attach to the blood vessels wall or/and lymph vessels wall so they can travel through it to another area of the body.
  • And once they reach new location in the body, they have to be able to grow and thrive.
  • Another challenging thing, they have to keep survive from the attack of the body immune system.
  • If Kidney Cancer Spreads

    Kidney Cancer – Current treatment options for metastatic renal cancer Part 1

    Cancer cells can spread from the kidney to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

    Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If kidney cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

    • lymph nodes around the kidney
    • the main vein in the kidney
    • the large vein in the abdomen leading to the heart
    • the other kidney
    • American Cancer Society. Kidney Cancer Stages. 2017: .
    • Lane BR, Canter DJ, Rin BL, et al. Cancer of the kidney. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 63:865-884.
    • National Cancer Institute. Renal Cell Cancer Treatment Health Professional Version. 2018: .
    • National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Kidney Cancer . .

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    Stage Iv Metastatic Kidney Cancer

    Metastatic kidney cancer is also referred to as stage IV the most advanced stage of cancer. At this point, cancer has invaded the lymphatic system and/or other organs, such as the brain, bones, or liver.

    Unfortunately, most types of kidney cancer are not recognized during the early stages when the tumor is small and confined to the kidney. Symptoms are mild and nonspecific until the cancer is far advanced.

    Up to 25 percent of people who are diagnosed with kidney cancer have cancer that has already metastasized, this according to one report from the Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology. According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate for Stage IV kidney cancer is 8 percent.

    People who survive stage IV kidney cancer more than five years do so because their metastases are isolated to one area and can be surgically removed. In general, metastatic cancer cannot be cured, but survival chances improve if the cancer is removable from the kidney and other organs.

    Cxcr4 And Ccl7 Expression In Primary Renal Cancer And Brain Metastases

    As the brain metastases derived exclusively from clear cell RCCs, only this tumour subtype was compared with the brain metastases from which 48 were analysable. A moderate to strong expression of CXCR4 was seen with similar frequencies in primary RCC and RCC brain metastases . In primary RCC, there was a correlation between CXCR4 expression and higher Fuhrman grade .

    CCL7 showed an increased positivity in tumour cells of RCC brain metastasis compared with primary tumours . A similar result was obtained from the 10 paired primary and brain metastasis samples . Examples of CXCR4- and CCL7-expressing tumours are illustrated in . CCL7 positivity in stromal and endothelial cells showed no expression differences in primary RCC and brain metastases , and all endothelial cells in brain metastasis showed either a moderate or strong CCL7 expression. The data are illustrated in . CCL2 could not be analysed because CCL2 antibody gave no reliable immunohistochemical staining results in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumours.

    Figure 2

    Moderate and strong expression of CXCR4 and CCL7 in RCC. Upper panel: TMA spots ; lower panel: magnified spot areas .

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    What Usually Causes Kidney Cancer

    It’s not known exactly, but like other cancers, kidney cancer is caused by gene mutations that are either inherited or acquired during life. Some risk factors that have been identified include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and workplace exposure to certain chemicals. Family history also plays a role, and certain genetic conditions are associated with a high risk of kidney cancer.

    Cancer May Spread From Where It Began To Other Parts Of The Body

    What is kidney cancer? What are the symptoms? How is it ...

    When cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is called metastasis. Cancer cells break away from where they began and travel through the lymph system or blood.

    • Lymph system. The cancer gets into the lymph system, travels through the lymph vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
    • Blood. The cancer gets into the blood, travels through the blood vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.

    The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if renal cell cancer spreads to the bone, the cancer cells in the bone are actually cancerous renal cells. The disease is metastatic renal cell cancer, not bone cancer.

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    After Renal Cell Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Kidney Or To Other Parts Of The Body

    The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the kidney or to otherparts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from thestaging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to knowthe stage in order to plan treatment. The following tests andprocedures may be used in the staging process:

    • CT scan : A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the chest or brain, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
    • MRI : A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the brain. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging .
    • Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
    • Bone scan: A procedure to check if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones with cancer and is detected by a scanner.

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    What Are Your Kidney Cancer Metastasis Treatment Options

    Surgery is not always an option for kidney cancer that has metastasized. Kidney cancer metastasis;treatment is focused on slowing down the spread of the disease and alleviating symptoms of kidney cancer metastasis.

    Surgical removal of the cancer is an option where the kidney tumor and any metastases are isolated.

    Surgery may involve removal of as much of the tumor as possible or removal of the entire kidney. Alternatively, the entire kidney attached adrenal gland and nearby lymph nodes and other surrounding tissues may be removed.

    Your doctor is in the best position to determine whether you are a candidate for surgery. Moreover, even if surgery is not an option, you still have other options.

    Biological Therapy

    Biological cancer therapies interfere with the way cells work. They also boost the bodys immune system response to fight off and destroy cancer cells and block the signals that promote cancer cell growth.

    These medications are known for their ability to shrink or control advanced kidney cancer.

    The goal of biological therapy is to help you live longer. With biological therapy, cancer cell growth is slowed or stopped, for months or even years.

    Targeted Therapy

    There are several targeted therapy drug options, including Sorafenib and Sunitinib , that target molecular and genetic changes responsible for causing cancer. These medicines are used when traditional chemotherapy has not worked or isnt an option.


    Hormone Therapy


    How Is Kidney Cancer Diagnosed And Assessed

    Choosing Frontline Therapy for Metastatic Kidney Cancer

    A doctor may suspect that you have kidney cancer from the symptoms and signs listed above ;and then arrange tests to confirm the diagnosis. However, in developed countries, about half of kidney cancers are diagnosed before any symptoms develop. They are usually seen by chance when a scan or other investigation is done for another reason.

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    The best way to cite this PDQ summary is:

    PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. PDQ Renal Cell Cancer Treatment. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated <MM/DD/YYYY>. Available at: . Accessed <MM/DD/YYYY>.

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