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Lancet. 2004 Feb 21;363(9409):594-9.

Adjuvant autologous renal tumour cell vaccine and risk of tumour progression in patients with renal-cell carcinoma after radical nephrectomy: phase III, randomised controlled trial.

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Department of Urology, University of Lübeck Medical School, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany.



Organ-confined renal-cell carcinoma is associated with tumour progression in up to 50% of patients after radical nephrectomy. At present, no effective adjuvant treatment is established. We aimed to investigate the effect of an autologous renal tumour cell vaccine on risk of tumour progression in patients with stage pT2-3b pN0-3 M0 renal-cell carcinoma.


Between January, 1997, and September, 1998, 558 patients with a renal tumour scheduled for radical nephrectomy were enrolled at 55 institutions in Germany. Before surgery, all patients were centrally randomised to receive autologous renal tumour cell vaccine (six intradermal applications at 4-week intervals postoperatively; vaccine group) or no adjuvant treatment (control group). The primary endpoint of the trial was to reduce the risk of tumour progression, defined as progression or death. All patients were assessed after standardised diagnostic investigations at 6-month intervals for a minimum of 4.5 years.


By preoperative and postoperative inclusion criteria, 379 patients were assessable for the intention-to-treat analysis. At 5-year and 70-month follow-up, the hazard ratios for tumour progression were 1.58 (95% CI 1.05-2.37) and 1.59 (1.07-2.36), respectively, in favour of the vaccine group (p=0.0204, log-rank test). 5-year and 70-month progression-free survival rates were 77.4% and 72%, respectively, in the vaccine group and 67.8% and 59.3%, respectively, in the control group. The vaccine was well tolerated, with only 12 adverse events associated with the treatment.


Adjuvant treatment with autologous renal tumour cell vaccine in patients with renal-cell carcinoma after radical nephrectomy seems to be beneficial and can be considered in patients undergoing radical nephrectomy due to organ-confined renal-cell carcinoma of more than 2.5 cm in diameter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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