State-of-the-Art Management of Renal Cell Carcinoma

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In the United States, renal cell cancer (RCC) is the third most common genitourinary tumor and the seventh most common cancer. Standard treatment of the primary tumor in RCC is complete resection by either a radical or partial nephrectomy which can be done as an open procedure or laparoscopically. Given the increasing incidence in the diagnosis of early-stage RCC and the toxicity and invasiveness associated with surgery, less invasive options (eg, radiofrequency ablation) have been used recently as an alternative. Although conventional radiotherapy plays a role in the palliative setting, its role is otherwise limited. This is partly because of the in vitro and clinical data showing that RCC is relatively radioresistant to radiotherapy. The advances in immobilization and image guidance have led several investigators to consider stereotactic techniques to overcome this resistance with impressive results in the metastatic setting. Recent retrospective and prospective phase II trials of RCC stereotactic body radiotherapy have shown excellent local controls up to 90% to 98%. Given these results and the noninvasive nature of stereotactic body radiotherapy this modality should be further evaluated as a treatment of choice for the primary RCC tumor. Although RCC is also resistant of conventional chemotherapy agents, exciting recent advances have emerged in the treatment of systemic disease with the development of targeted agents in addition to immunotherapy-based treatments. In the current critical review we discuss these emerging trends in localized and systemic treatment as well as possible interesting combinations of the 2 modalities.

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