Role of radiotherapy in the treatment of renal cell cancer: updated and critical review



The growing incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) raises many questions about the management of these patients. The late clinical presentation, the presence of locally advanced or metastatic disease at diagnosis, the difficulty of radical surgical excision, and radioresistance make it one of the more challenging tumors to treat. The primary objective of this article is to propose an updated and critical review of the role of radiotherapy (RT) in the treatment of RCC.


This literature review is based on data from meta-analyses and randomized, prospective, and retrospective studies. We collected reports from 1970 to the present about preoperative RT, postoperative RT, stereotactic body RT, radiosurgery, and intraoperative RT in locally advanced renal cancer and in metastatic diseases.


We emphasize the progress made in RT technology that allowed the creation of a more personalized and focused treatment with a minimum rate of complications.


In the coming years, new studies will be published to confirm and increase the indications for use of RT.

Tumori 2017; 103(6): 504 - 510

Article Type: REVIEW



Vincenzo Fusco, Salvatore Parisi, Barbara d’Andrea, Michele Troiano, Maria Antonietta Clemente, Franco Morelli, Rocchina Caivano, Giuseppe Guglielmi

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest statement: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

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  • Unit of Radiation Oncology, IRCCS “CROB” Rionero in Vulture, Potenza - Italy
  • Unit of Radiation Therapy, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia - Italy
  • Unit of Radiology, University of Foggia, Foggia - Italy
  • Unit of Oncology, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia - Italy
  • Unit of Radiology, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia - Italy

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