Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) presents as localized disease in 54% of the cases. For these patients, surgery is the primary curative treatment. Unfortunately, up to 65% of all patients show recurrent disease. For metastatic RCC non-specific immunotherapy is currently the treatment of choice. Nevertheless, several new modalities, e.g. WX-G250, oncophage and anti-angiogenic compounds like sunitinib and sorafenib are being explored with favorable results. Still, their place in the primary treatment of advanced RCC has yet to be determined. Because of the high percentage of recurrent disease, there is a need to identify these patients with conventional and molecular risk factors. Furthermore, adjuvant therapy to reduce risk of recurrence of RCC following nephrectomy is of clinical relevance.
A review of recent literature was performed on the topics prognostic models, risk factors and adjuvant treatment for non-metastasized RCC.
Combining classical risk factors for progression of RCC has shown to be effective for stratifying patients into risk groups. The UCLA integrated staging system (UISS) is the currently the only validated prognostic model. Whether molecular markers are able to better identify high-risk patients is still under investigation. Adjuvant therapy has been explored in the treatment for RCC and the use of non-specific cytokine regimens has so far not shown to be effective in the adjuvant setting. More specific therapies, e.g. WX-G250, oncophage and anti-angiogenic drugs are clinically active in patients with advanced RCC. Large randomized clinical trials with these drugs are currently ongoing to evaluate their effect in patients with localized RCC.