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Nephrectomy followed by Interferon versus Interferon alone as therapy of metastatic kidney cancer

It has been established that immunotherapy (interferon or interferon plus other) is the best systemic therapy for kidney/renal cancer that has metastasised. In the past there had been recorded instances of regression of renal cancer metastases when the kidney (bearing the primary cancer ) was removed. It was theorised that the great bulk of cancer in the primary/kidney could lessen the chance of immunotherapy from working on the metastatic cancer elsewhere in the body. A trial just reported in the New England Journal (2001, vol 345 pages 1655-9) suggests that removal of the kidney harbouring the primary is indeed a wise step to perform and that the survival of patients undergoing this procedure plus interferon will be longer than similar patients who receive interferon alone.