Currently, the search for a reliable biomarker to identify those patients who are at risk of the cancer coming back after nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has not been successful. A recent study looked at a protein called kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) in patients with RCC and whether this protein could be used to predict recurrence of kidney cancer after nephrectomy.
The researchers looked at a link between KIM-1 levels and disease-free survival and overall survival. Blood samples were taken from 418 patients and analysed for KIM-1. After nephrectomy, high levels of KIM-1 in the blood were associated with worse survival for patients with locally advanced RCC and could be used as a biomarker to predict kidney cancer remaining in the body after nephrectomy.