A study looking at samples to predict how people with advanced kidney cancer will respond treatment (EuroTARGET)

Cancer type:

Kidney cancer
Renal cell cancer





This study was done to gather information that may help doctors predict how people with kidney cancer will respond to treatment.

More about this trial

When this study was done, doctors often treated kidney cancer with one of a group of targeted cancer treatments called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). This includes the drugs sunitinib, sorafenib and pazopanib. 

But these treatments don’t work for everyone, and some people have more side effects than others. Some people need to take a lower dose or stop treatment altogether because of the side effects they are having. 

Researchers wanted to see if there was a way to predict how well treatment will work, and who will have more side effects. They wanted to gather information from people having these treatments, to see if it could help. 

The research team hoped to collect blood and tissue samples and look at how well people did after treatment. They planned to analyse the samples to find out more about people’s genetic material (DNA) and specific proteins in their blood.

The aim of this study was to collect information which may help predict how well TKIs work for people with advanced kidney cancer.

Summary of results

The research team collected information about people having treatment for kidney cancer. They hope it can be used to help find out more about how well treatments work for different people.
They collected information between 2011 and 2014, and published the results in 2017.
About this study
The research team looked at information from 1,210 people with advanced kidney cancer. This included information about:
  • 748 people who were recruited as part of this study
  • 462 people who had already taken part in another trial looking at treatment for kidney cancer
The research team focussed on people who’d had a type of treatment called a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), and at least 6 months of follow up. They collected information and samples from 920 people and of these:
  • 713 people (78%) had sunitinib
  • 166 people (18%) had pazopanib
  • 41 people (4%) had sorafenib
The team collected several different types of information about the people taking part. This included:
  • their age, gender and height
  • when they were diagnosed
  • the size of the cancer
  • where in the body the cancer had spread
  • which treatment they’d had
  • how well treatment worked
  • any side effects they’d had
They also collected samples of blood, kidney cancer tissue and healthy kidney tissue. They analysed the genetic material (DNA) and proteins in these samples.
They added all of this information to the EuroTARGET database. This is now available for other researchers to use. 
The EuroTARGET team hope that researchers will use the information they gathered to find out more about which treatments work best for different people. 
The ultimate goal is for doctors to be able to prescribe a specific combination of treatment for each person, based on their individual situation and genes. You may hear this called personalised medicine.
The research team were able to collect a lot information about people having treatment for kidney cancer, and store it all in one place. They hope that researchers will use it to find out more about which treatments are best for different people.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. 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 Tim Eisen

Supported by

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
European Commission (Seventh Framework Programme)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Cambridge

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.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

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"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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