Metastatic renal cell carcinoma

Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2003 Oct;4(5):385-90. doi: 10.1007/s11864-003-0039-2.


Patients with renal cell cancer (RCC) develop metastatic spread in approximately 33% of cases. The clinical management of patients with metastatic RCC is complicated by the lack of significant efficacy from available therapies. Common sites of metastases include the lung, liver, bone, brain, and adrenal gland, with case reports detailing the capacity of RCC to appear almost anywhere in the body. More than one organ system is often involved in the metastatic process. Metastases may be found at diagnosis or at some interval after nephrectomy. Approximately 20% to 50% of patients will eventually develop metastatic disease after nephrectomy. A shorter interval between nephrectomy and the development of metastases is associated with a poorer prognosis. Patients with metastatic RCC face a dismal prognosis, with a median survival time of only 6 to 12 months and a 2-year survival rate of 10% to 20%. Recent advances in biologic response modifier therapy have brought new hope to a small percentage of patients who respond to this therapy and rekindled interest in cytoreductive nephrectomy as an integral part of the management of these patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Nephrectomy / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome