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Anticancer Drugs. 2005 Aug;16(7):709-17.

Novel treatment strategies in clear-cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (mRCC) is highly resistant to cytotoxic agents or hormones and is currently mainly treated with cytokine-based therapy. Transient responses and moderate survival advantages have been achieved in a subset of patients with these aspecific biological response modifiers. Side-effects are considerable, especially with high-dose interleukin (IL)-2. Efforts made in the field of specific immunotherapy have focused on optimization of dendritic cell vaccination and on administration of monoclonal antibodies, either cold (unconjugated) or hot (radioactively labeled). Furthermore, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is able to induce remissions but, regrettably, is related to substantial morbidity and mortality. Neutralization of the biological activity of some immunosuppressive cytokines produced by RCC (IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) with monoclonal antibodies is currently under investigation. Insights gained into the processes and pathways underlying carcinogenesis have led to the development of new treatment strategies. These treatments can be used for clear cell RCC, since they focus on blocking gene products that are upregulated by mutations in the von Hippel-Lindau gene. Specific strategies include anti-vascular endothelial growth factor monoclonal antibody (bevacizumab) or inhibition of its receptor kinases (oral SU11248 or PTK787), or targeting the Raf kinase pathway (by BAY 43-9006) or the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway (by CCI-779). Early clinical results are promising, but their place in the treatment of RCC has to be determined.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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