Cancer Research Project

by: Terence Coyle

Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Basic Info

Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma is a cancer that is located in the kidneys. The reason why most people get CCRCC is because of outside factors, such as smoking, obesity, high blood sugar levels, as well as exposure to chemicals like asbestos, however some cases have been reported to be hereditary. It is typically diagnosed through either ultrasounds, CT scans or MRI scans of the kidneys. Because it's not easily detected at first, it has to be defined by the symptoms, before the right treatment can be used. It is classified as a gene suppressor mutation.
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The symptoms of CCRCC can be defined by a few things, electrolyte levels, renal and kidney functions, and blood clotting times. Through a physical examination, the abdomen may palpitate, and reveal a large mass or the kidneys being enlarged. There also may be blood in the urine, leaving a rusty red brown color. Also a red blood cell deficiency may be a sign of cancer. Increased amounts of Liver enzymes (ALT and AST) and an increased amount of calcium is a sign of CCRCC.
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The cancer is diagnosed after it reaches all the requirements of the symptoms, and after a cystic mass has been found through a CT scan, MRI, or an ultrasound. When the mass has been found, then it goes through a staging process, so that it can then be found the treatment necessary.

Stage 1 is simply a tumor of smaller than 7 cm but only on the kidney, no lymph nodes involved.

Stage 2 is when the tumor grows beyond 7 cm.

The cancer is then qualified for Stage 3 when it reaches any of these requirements: Tumor becomes involved with lymph nodes or veins leading towards the heart. The tumor may also have a fatty substance surrounding it.

The cancer is then on Stage 4 when it has any of the following: The tumor has spread through the fatty tissue. The tumor has become involved with one or more lymph nodes not near the kidneys. Also distant metastasis, meaning cancer being transported to a different part of the body, not connected to the kidneys.


The treatment of the cancer is based on many elements, The stage that the cancer is in, the organs affected/unaffected, pre-existing conditions, and the overall health and age of the patient.

The treatment starts off with many tests and just waiting to see what develops, to see what step they need to take next.

The next option for treatment is surgery, typically removing the entire affected kidney.

The next style of treatment is Targeted Ablative Therapies, essentially, that's specifically locating the tumor and killing the tissues by exposing it to heat or intense cold, both drawing the water out of the tissue.

The final step in treatment of CCRCC would be Targeted Drug Treatments, essentially, building up the body's immune response to cancer cells.

CCRCC's response to chemotherapy and radiology hasn't shown to be very successful. All of these treatments are highly successful but, especially the therapies and drug treatments, have very adverse side affects, that may be fatal. They include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, coughing, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), hypertension(high blood pressure), intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding into the brain), thrombosis (blood clots) in the brain, rashes, hand foot syndrome, stomatitis, resulting in reduced white blood cells, increasing the risk of infections plus anemia and reduced platelets, impaired kidney function, and fatigue.


There are around 65,000 reported cases in the U.S alone every year. The mortality rate of CCRCC is 20.7% worldwide. The mortality rate of CCRCC has increased over time almost as much 3% over 10 years. The graph is from 1975 to 2001, so a little while ago, and this is the general kidney cancer mortality rates, not CCRCC.
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Chittoria, Namita, and Brian Rini. "Renal Cell Carcinoma." Renal Cell Carcinoma. Cleveland Clinic, 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <>.

"What Is Kidney Cancer?" What Is Kidney Cancer? The American Cancer Association, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <>.