I'm Marston Linehan,
I'm the chief of the Urologic
Oncology branch at the
National Cancer Institute,
at the National
Institutes of Health.
And we're going to talk about the
genetic basis of kidney cancer.
Kidney cancer affects nearly 300,000
patients worldwide each year,
and is responsible for nearly
120,000 deaths worldwide, annually.
It's predicted that there
are 200,000 patients alive
with kidney cancer
in the United States.
I'm a urologic surgeon, and if a
patient came to someone like me
with localized kidney cancer,
we remove their tumor.
We could cure to 95%
of those patients.
However, if a patient comes to
someone like me, or to a physician,
with advanced disease, they
have only a 19% or 20%,
So it's been nearly 30 years ago now
that we started working on kidney
cancer, and our goal was to identify
the gene-- we thought it was
a gene at the time, we didn't
realize it was genes-- to identify
the gene that causes kidney cancer.
And our hope was that we could then
study that gene pathway to develop
an approach for therapy for patients
with advanced forms of kidney
So I'm going to talk with you about
our process over the past 30 years
or so, and our
experience and what we've
learned about kidney
cancer in that time.
So when we started, kidney cancer
was thought to be a single disease.
We treated all patients
the same surgically,
did the same operation for each.
We gave patients with
metastatic or advanced disease
the same drugs, none
of which worked.
We now know that kidney cancer
is not a single disease.
It's a number of
different types of cancer
that happen to occur in the kidney.
They have different histologies,
as you can see on this slide.
The patients undergo
different clinical courses.
They respond differently to therapy.
And as I'll show you, they're
caused by different genes.