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J Clin Oncol. 2002 Jan 1;20(1):302-6.

Phase II trial of thalidomide for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Genitourinary Oncology Service, Division of Solid Tumor Oncology, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10021, USA.



To assess efficacy and toxicity of thalidomide in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).


Twenty-six patients with RCC were treated with thalidomide at a starting dose of 200 mg daily. Thalidomide was increased by 200 mg every 2 weeks until a maximum dose of 800 mg or prohibitive toxicity was reached. Fifteen patients had prior nephrectomy, 11 patients had no prior systemic therapy, and 15 had received one prior systemic regimen.


A maximum dose of 800 mg, 600 mg, 400 mg, and 200 mg was reached in five, 10, eight, and three patients, respectively. Grade 2 and 3 dyspnea occurred in four and three patients, respectively. Grade 2 and 3 neurologic toxicity was observed in five and two patients, respectively. Of the 25 assessable patients, the best response was stable disease in 16 (95% confidence interval [CI], 43% to 82%) patients. The 6-month progression-free survival rate was 32% (95% CI, 14% to 50%). Three patients achieved prolonged stable disease of 16, 16+, and 18+ months, including two patients who were refractory to previous cytokine therapy. Fifty-seven percent were alive at 1 year (95% CI, 37% to 76%).


This trial does not support the routine use of thalidomide to induce partial response for metastatic RCC. Because disease stabilization occurs as a part of the natural history of metastatic RCC, the potential effect of thalidomide on progression-free and overall survival for patients with advanced RCC is being addressed in a randomized phase III trial. New immunomodulatory analogs of thalidomide that have shown potentially greater antitumor effects in preclinical models warrant study in metastatic RCC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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