Kidney Cancer: Biomarker Linked to Detection and Progression Interview with:

Dr. David Muller, PhD  Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health Research Fellow in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Imperial College London

Dr. Muller

Dr. David C. Muller PhD
Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
Research Fellow in Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Imperial College, London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our colleagues in the U.S. have been working on KIM-1 for years, particularly in the context of chronic kidney disease. Recently they found that KIM-1 is also elevated at the time of diagnosis of kidney cancer.

We wanted to see if KIM-1 concentrations could predict the chances of a future diagnosis of kidney cancer. We found that KIM-1 was a strong predictor of being diagnosis with kidney cancer in the next 5 years. We also found that higher pre-diagnostic KIM-1 was associated with worse survival after diagnosis. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Whilst these results are very promising, we would like to emphasise that KIM-1 should not be considered for general population screening. Kidney cancer is a relatively rare disease, and even those with the highest concentrations of KIM-1 have only a 1-2% chance of being diagnosed in the next 5 years. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: The next step is to establish more precisely whether KIM-1 is capable of detecting cancers at an early stage, when curative treatment is typically very successful. We also would like to look further in to the future, to see how many years in advance KIM-1 can differentiate between those at high and low risk of kidney cancer. Finally, we want to investigate whether KIM-1 can be used to “track” patents’ response to treatment, and risk of relapse. 

Disclosures: One of our co-authors J.V. Bonventre is listed as an inventor of a patent regarding KIM-1 assigned to Partners Healthcare. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed by the other authors.


Ghislaine Scelo, David C. Muller, Elio Riboli, Mattias Johannson, Amanada J. Cross, Paolo Vineis, Konstantinos K. Tsilidis, Paul Brennan, Heiner Boeing, Petra HM Peters, Roel Vermeulen, Kim Overvad, Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Gianluca Severi, Vittorio Perduca, Marina Kvaskoff, Antonia Trichopoulou, Carlo La Vecchia, Anna Karakatsani, Domenico Palli, Sabina Sieri, Salvatore Panico, Elisabete Weiderpass, Torkjel M Sandanger, Therese H. Nøst, Antonio Agudo, J. Ramón Quirós, Miguel Rodríguez-Barranco, Maria-Dolores Chirlaque, Timothy J Key, Prateek Khanna, Joseph V. Bonventre, Venkata S Sabbisetti, Rupal S. Bhatt. KIM-1 as a blood-based marker for early detection of kidney cancer: a prospective nested case-control study. Clinical Cancer Research, 2018; clincanres.1496.2018 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1496 


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