Treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma: recent advances and current role of immunotherapy, surgery, and cryotherapy


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the 10th most common cancer in Western countries. The prognosis of metastatic disease is unfavorable but may be different according to several risk factors, such as histology and clinical features (Karnofsky performance status, time from nephrectomy, hemoglobin level, neutrophils and thrombocytes count, lactate dehydrogenase and calcium serum value, sites and extension of the disease). In this review, we focused on some recent developments in the use of immunotherapy, surgery and cryotherapy in the treatment of advanced disease. While RCC is unresponsive to chemotherapy, recent advances have emerged with the development of targeted agents and innovative immunotherapy-based treatments. Surgical resection remains the standard of care for patients with small renal lesions but in patients with significant comorbidities ablative therapies such as cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation may lead to local cancer control and avoid surgical complications and morbidity. In the setting of metastatic RCC, radical nephrectomy, or cytoreductive nephrectomy, is considered a palliative surgery, usually part of a multimodality treatment approach that requires systemic treatments.

Tumori 2017; 103(1): 15 - 21

Article Type: REVIEW



Alessia Mennitto, Elena Verzoni, Giuseppina Calareso, Carlo Spreafico, Giuseppe Procopio

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: Giuseppe Procopio reports receiving fees for serving on advisory boards from Bayer, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Ipsen, Janssen, and Novartis and lecture fees from Astellas and Pfizer. Elena Verzoni reports receiving fees for serving on advisory boards from Pfizer, Janssen, and Novartis.

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  • Genitourinary Unit, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan - Italy
  • Department of Interventional Radiology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan - Italy

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