Next Wave of Targets in the Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Journal Articles uri icon

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  • While surgical resection has remained the mainstay of treatment in early-stage renal cell carcinoma (RCC), therapeutic options in the advanced setting have remarkably expanded over the last 20 years. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGF-TKIs) and anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-based immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have become globally accepted options in the upfront metastatic setting, with different ICI-based combination strategies improving overall survival compared to single-agent Sunitinib. Although some patients benefit from long-term responses, most eventually develop disease progression. Ongoing efforts to better understand the biology of RCC and the different mechanisms of acquired resistance have led to the identification of promising therapeutic targets. Belzutifan, a novel agent targeting the angiogenic pathway involving hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), has already been approved for the treatment of early-stage tumors associated with VHL disease and represents a very promising therapy in advanced RCC. Other putative targets include epigenetic regulation enzymes, as well as several metabolites such as adenosine, glutaminase and tryptophan, which are critical players in cancer cell metabolism and in the tumor microenvironment. Different methods of immune regulation are also being investigated, including CAR-T cell therapy and modulation of the gut microbiome, in addition to novel agents targeting the interleukin-2 (IL-2) pathway. This review aims to highlight the emergent novel therapies for RCC and their respective completed and ongoing clinical trials.


  • Cardenas, Luisa M
  • Deluce, Jasna E
  • Khan, Shahrukh
  • Gulam, Omar
  • Maleki Vareki, Saman
  • Fernandes, Ricardo
  • Lalani, Aly-Khan

publication date

  • July 30, 2022