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New treatments for metastatic kidney cancer
Department of Medical Oncology, San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals, Rome, Italy
Feb  2005 (Vol.  12, Issue  11, Pages( 66 - 70)


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  • Renal cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 3% of adult malignancies and 90%-95% of neoplasms arising from the kidney. It is characterized by a lack of early warning signs, diverse clinical manifestations, resistance to radiation and chemotherapy, and infrequent but reproducible responses to immunotherapy with agents such as interferon alpha (IFNa) and interleukin 2 (IL-2). International studies have shown objective response rates of < 15% in patients with advanced and metastatic disease, with 5-year disease-specific survival ranging between 0-20%. Considering these poor outcomes, renal cancers? very vascular nature and overexpression of receptors for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), various biologic and angio-suppressive therapies are being evaluated in clinical trials. Promising results in terms of overall response rate and median time to progression have been reported especially as second-line therapy following cytokine failure, a setting where no effective systemic therapy has been recognized (SU011248, Bay 43-9006, Bevacizumab and Erlotinib). While confirmatory studies are ongoing, other novel treatments in first line trials (CCI-779, Infliximab, PTK-787, and Thalidomide) have drawn international attention. This review, analyzing basic translational research principles, will summarize the available data on the use of these new therapeutic approaches in RCC.