Blood test could detect kidney cancer up to five years prior to clinical diagnosis
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IMAGE: This is Rupal Bhatt, M.D., Ph.D., corresponding author and medical oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. view more 

Credit: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

BOSTON – Every year, more than 330,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer worldwide. More than 80 percent of those new cases are renal cell carcinomas (RCC). When caught early, the five-year survival rate is more than 90 percent. Patients diagnosed with more invasive tumors, however, have dramatically poorer prognoses, with five-year survival rates of 50 percent and 10 percent for patients diagnosed at stages III and IV respectively. Early detection could improve the overall survival rate in patients at high risk for death from RCC.

Now, a team of investigators led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) medical oncologist Rupal Bhatt, MD, PhD, has demonstrated that a molecule called KIM-1, a protein present in the blood of some patients with renal cell carcinoma is present at elevated levels at the time of diagnosis, can also serve as a tool to predict the disease’s onset up to five years prior to diagnosis. The team’s findings were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

“Our study found a significant association between plasma KIM-1

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