Integrating Immunotherapy Into the Management of Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN

PubMedID: 28596263

Zibelman M, Plimack ER. Integrating Immunotherapy Into the Management of Renal Cell Carcinoma. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017;15(6):841-847.
Before 2005, systemic treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was limited to a few minimally effective options. Since then, new agents have emerged targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor and mTOR pathways, which has improved outcomes for patients. Options increased even further beginning in 2015 with 3 new agents, including the addition of nivolumab, the first immune checkpoint inhibitor to demonstrate improved survival in RCC. RCC has long been considered a malignancy with immunogenic potential, and nivolumab offers the potential for durable responses in some patients with a generally tolerable toxicity profile. With so many drugs available to clinicians and patients, properly integrating immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) into the treatment paradigm is challenging. Additionally, emerging research with other ICB agents, as well as ongoing trials of combination strategies, is likely to further impact clinical decision-making. This article attempts to provide some context to inform systemic treatment decisions in the current landscape, with a particular emphasis on the role of immunotherapy, outlines the ongoing immunotherapy research in RCC, and discusses how treatment may evolve.