Treatment options in renal cell carcinoma: Past, present and future
Carcinoma, Renal Cell
Cytokine therapies have been the standard of care in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, these agents only provide clinical benefit to a small subset of patients and are associated with significant toxicity. A better understanding of the molecular biology of RCC has identified the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor signalling pathways as rational targets for anticancer therapy. The multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors sunitinib and sorafenib have both demonstrated improved efficacy as second-line therapy in patients with RCC. Sunitinib has also been shown to be effective in the first-line setting, and has recently received European Union approval as first-line treatment for advanced and/or metastatic RCC. There is also recent evidence that temsirolimus (an inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin) and bevacizumab (a mAb targeted against VEGF) may provide benefits in the first-line treatment setting. These results confirm that inhibiting these tumour targets is a feasible approach to treatment and provides a more positive outlook for the future management of metastatic RCC.