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Semin Oncol. 2006 Oct;33(5):588-95.

Molecular pathways in renal cell carcinoma--rationale for targeted treatment.

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Department of Hematology Oncology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


The VHL tumor-suppressor gene is mutated or silenced in most clear cell renal carcinomas (RCCs). pVHL loss results in the stabilization of the heterodimeric transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and enhanced transactivation of HIF target genes. Downregulation of HIF is both necessary and sufficient for pVHL to suppress the growth of human renal carcinoma cells in preclinical models. HIF itself has been difficult to inhibit with drug-like molecules although a number of agents that indirectly inhibit HIF, including mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, have been identified. Moreover, a number of drugs have been developed that target HIF-responsive gene products, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), implicated in tumorigenesis. Many of these targeted therapies have demonstrated significant activity in kidney cancer clinical trials and represent substantive advances in the treatment of this disease. How these agents should be combined with one another and with conventional agents is the subject of current trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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