What Treatment Options Are Available for Patients Diagnosed with Renal Medullary Carcinoma?

Dr. Pavlos Msaouel shares how patients can effectively self-advocate if diagnosed with Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC). First, a patient must know that treatment for RMC differs from other kidney cancers, so it is necessary to seek experts familiar with the particulars of RMC. Second, patients should reach out to communities who participate in RMC clinical trials. The contributions from patients and patient advocates have been immeasurable to the research progress of RMC. From this progress, disease outcomes have improved gradually and steadily. The average survival rate has improved six times: from 3 months to 18 months.

Renal medullary carcinoma, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Kidney Cancer, Dr. Pavlos Msaouel, rmc, rare kidney cancer

About this expert

Pavlos Msaouel, MD, PhD

University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine


Rebecca Law: 

Dr. Msaouel, what treatment options are available for renal medullary carcinoma patients?

Dr. Pavlos Msaouel:
No, that is a wonderful and very important question and it is important, why-- because actually the treatment of RMC is very different from the treatment that we use for other kidney cancers. So, a lot of the treatments that work for most other kidney cancers do not work at all for RMC and treatments that do not work for other kidney cancers, work for RMC. So, this is why it is so crucial if you are diagnosed with RMC that you get in touch with people who are experts on managing this disease and so that is one. 

Dr. Pavlos Msaouel:
Two, thankfully and again this is thanks in large part to the patient communities, we have been able to open clinical trials right now in the U.S. at our center at MD Anderson for individuals with RMC and it's not just us, there are other centers as well and we have networks now of physicians and researchers  who are dedicated to helping individuals with RMC. So, there are clinical trials, things are moving forward and we could not have done that without the help of patients and without the help of their family members. The patient advocates, their contribution is immeasurable. Without these clinical trials and without this research that is going on, on a daily basis as we speak we wouldn't be where we are right now and I can tell you that we are right now at a better place than we were before. And what do I mean? When RMC was first described in the mid 90's, the average survival from diagnosis was just three months. Currently a few years ago the average survival in large institutions that are dedicated to treating individuals with RMC was in the range of 18 months and that was a few years ago. I believe now that we are doing better than that. So, it is not a huge change as we would've wanted, but it is better and so, that is gradual progress and through this research we will keep moving forward.


Rebecca Law

Rebecca graduated from University of San Francisco with a degree in applied economics, focusing on marketing, program management and event management. Her experience is unmatched when it comes to aligning program scope with strategic business objectives. Rebecca has an extensive background in managing marketing campaigns and is highly skilled at communicating with a variety of audiences.

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