A study looking at biomarkers in people with kidney cancer

Cancer type:

Kidney cancer
Renal cell cancer





This study looked at chemicals and proteins called biomarkers in the blood and urine of people with kidney cancer (renal cell cancer).

This trial was open for people to join between 2011 and 2013. The team reported the results in 2020.

More about this trial

Doctors know that people with kidney cancer have biomarkers Open a glossary item in their blood and urine.

The aims of this study were to find out more about these biomarkers to:

  • help diagnose kidney cancer 
  • help monitor treatment 
  • try and improve treatment in the future    

Summary of results

The study team found that it would be enough to take the sample once. But they need to analyse the sample twice, to correct for technical differences. They found it gave a starting point measurement for the protein biomarker. This measurement is called a baseline measurement. 

About this study
The study team took blood and urine samples from people twice. They took them:

  • when they joined the study 
  • and again between 2 and 21 days later

The team looked at 16 possible biomarkers. The team compared these levels: 

  • within the person themselves, and
  • between the people who took part

They found that there was less variability in the samples from the same person. This is in comparison to when they compared the samples of all the people taking part. 

Kidney cancer grows new blood vessels so it can get the oxygen and nutrients needed to grow. The researchers wanted to find biomarkers that show if this is happening. And to show how well treatment to block this blood vessel growth is working. These blood vessels also transport T cells Open a glossary item of the immune system  Open a glossary itemto the cancer. 

There is an interest in these biomarkers and how they can show the interaction between the immune system and the cancer. Also immunotherapy Open a glossary item drugs help the T cells of the immune system fight cancer. And doctors could use the biomarkers to find out how well this treatment is working. 

The study team concluded that testing once is enough to establish a baseline measurement for biomarkers. They hope that this will be useful for many doctors when they are considering treatment for kidney cancer. And that it is also useful for other researchers investigating kidney cancer. 

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on information from the research team.  As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) or published in a medical journal yet. The figures we quote above were provided by the research team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Duncan Jodrell

Supported by

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre
Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit
Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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