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New Way to Bust Kidney Cancer Tumors

Cancer is one of the leading causes of fatalities in the United States today. But now experts are saying they have a better way to treat one type of cancer – kidney cancer.

Fox news reports on a new device.

Doctors have started to use a device for blood clot removal to suction a person’s kidney cancer tumors.

One patient, Chris, told Fox news that when he was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer in September 2014, he did not have many options. His cancer had larger and started leaning up and out of his kidney, infesting his blood vessels and nearing his heart. Doctors told Chris he could have undergone chemotherapy alone, but he was looking to participate in a clinical trial for a new kidney cancer treatment that creates vaccines from patient’s tumors.

What did he need to do in order to qualify?

“Chris first had to be healthy enough to undergo a minimally surgery. In it, surgeons restrict a patient’s blood supply to the kidney, remove the kidney, and draw genetic material from the source of the disease to create a vaccine within 30 minutes. However, the clinical trial was best suited for patients whose cancer was less advanced than Teodoro’s, as doctors would also have to remove tumor material from a major vein in that short window of time,” according to Fox.

Dr. Rogers, director of renal surgery and director of senior staff neurologic oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and one of Chris’s doctors commented on his situation. He said there was no way to do Chris’s plan in 30 minutes with the situation at hand.

What other options did he have?

An alternative option that would take out tumors from Teodoro’s vein and help him qualify for the clinical trial was open heart and chest surgery. However, for advanced kidney cancer patients, the procedure comes with life-threatening risks these include stroke, heart attack or blood clots.

“The recovery time for invasive surgeries like that also take months, which may have prevented Teodoro from receiving any further cancer treatment. That’s what led Rogers and his colleagues at Henry Ford Hospital to repurpose the AngioVac, a vacuum-like device typically used to remove blood clots in large veins of the human body, to suck kidney tumors from Teodoro’s vena cava. That’s what led Rogers and his colleagues at Henry Ford Hospital to repurpose the AngioVac, a vacuum-like device typically used to remove blood clots in large veins of the human body, to suck kidney tumors from Teodoro’s vena cava. Rogers and his colleague, Dr. Schwartz, a senior staff interventional radiologist at Henry Ford Hospital who performed the operation on Teodoro, had been waiting for a patient whose cancer had spread so they could try to use the AngioVac to remove kidney tumors,” according to Fox news.

How does it work?

The AngioVac has large suction catheters that filter blood through a cardiac bypass machine to suck foreign material from a person’s body.

The device actually removes blood from one place in the body, passes it through the machine and returns it to another place in the human body. Dr. Schwartz utilizes the technology routinely on patients with blood clots, however Rogers and Schwartz speculated that it could also be used to remove tumors for patients whose kidney cancer has metastasized upon diagnosis, which accounts for one-third, or around 60,000, of all kidney cancer cases.  

Chris’s procedure went well. Physicians then they placed a suction catheter above the tumor. Doctors then made another incision at the femoral vein— in the upper thigh and pelvic region— where they placed the tube to return the blood to his body.