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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2003 Feb;45(2):177-90.

Renal cell carcinoma: current status and future directions.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, Davis Cancer Center, 4501 X Street, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Although renal cell carcinoma accounts for only 3% of adult malignancies, it has been increasing in incidence by 2-4% per year since the 1970's. Cigarette smoking, obesity and end-stage renal disease are important risk factors. Genetic syndromes such as von Hippel-Lindau disease are also associated with an increased incidence of renal cell carcinoma. Localized disease should be treated with surgical resection. However, approximately 30% of patients present with metastatic disease. Complete resection of metastases can result in long-term survival in some individuals. Removal of the primary renal tumor in patients with unresectable disseminated disease has also been shown to improve survival in selected good performance status patients receiving systemic immunotherapy. While chemotherapy has been relatively ineffective in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma, biologic therapy with interleukin-2 or interferon does lead to responses in a minority of patients, with occasional long-term survivors. Recently, promising results have been reported with allogeneic stem cell transplantation using a non-myeloablative conditioning regimen. However, therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma remains inadequate. Ongoing trials with novel approaches such as anti-angiogenesis agents, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, and tumor vaccines will hopefully lead to improved outcomes in this disease.

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