Kidney Cancer Research


Our mission is clear – inspired by the bravery of our patients, we are committed to pursuing even outrageous possibilities. Our process is unparalledled – we draw from Duke’s entire pool of world-class talent and resources to foster collaborative exchanges of knowledge and promote innovation.

Our utilizing this multi-disciplinary approach, we lead the field in breakthrough research that transforms how we prevent, diagnose and treat kidney cancer.

Together, we are moving further, faster and with greater purpose.

Clinical Research

Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center is leading clinical trials which are improving the way we diagnose and treat prostate cancer. Our physicians work with pharmaceutical companies to design clinical trials that allow us to study all phases of kidney cancer and to focus on the following areas: 

  • Novel immunotherapies
    • Our immune systems can recognize and fight cancer, but sometimes the cancer develops ways to trick our immune systems. Immunotherapies target our immune system to help fight the cancer. We are committed to developing, identifying and testing new immunotherapies to improve how we treat kidney cancer.  
  • Precision/predictive medicine and biomarkers of aggressive disease
    • Our genes, lifestyles and environment can affect the way kidney cancer develops and responds to certain treatments. We study DNA and other molecules in cancer cells to tailor kidney cancer treatments to the patient being treated. We work to identify biomarkers or biological differences between more or less aggressive kidney cancers, and question whether this information will be useful in making decisions about treatment for patients.  
  • Multi-disciplinary trials
    • At our center, specialists from medical, surgical and radiation oncology work together to transform kidney cancer care. 
  • Survivorship studies
    • We lead in studies that help patients and their families recover from the stress and long-term effects of kidney cancer diagnosis and treatment. Through these, we are ensuring that kidney cancer survivors are receiving the follow-up care they need.  

For more information on available clinical trials, click here.

Pre-Clinical and Translational Research

The Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center seeks to translate cutting-edge basic science research into improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer. Our Kidney Cancer Translational Research program studies:  

  • Molecular Mechanisms and biomarkers for Kidney Cancer
    • CTC Immune biomarkers with microbiome and urine cfDNA
  • Development of perioperative treatment for kidney cancer
    • Prosper
    • Merck Keynote 564
    • S-TRAC (closed)
  • Development of novel treatments and combinations for Aggressive Kidney Cancer
    • Agensys
    • PDIGREE (likely start in late 2018)
    • CABOSUN (closed)
    • Checkmate 214 (closed)
  • Studying non-clear cell renal cell carcinomas
    • PAPMET/S1500
    • BMS Checkmate 920 (closed)
  • Treatment-related toxicities (cardio-oncology) and overall outcomes/treatment sequencing
    • Asset
    • Intense
    • Neurologic toxicities from immunotherapies
    • MaRCC registry