Brain metastases from renal cell carcinoma. Should we change the current standard?

Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 Jun;38(4):249-57. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jul 20.


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most common sources of brain metastases, with an incidence that varies widely from 4% to 48% according to different studies. In addition, asymptomatic metastases occur in up to 33% of patients with metastatic RCC, further complicating the decision-making process in this poor prognosis population. The purpose of this review is to cover in depth the present state of knowledge on the diagnosis and management of patients with brain metastases from RCC, in order to assess whether the current standard should be challenged. The existing systems to predict response and survival will be reviewed, as well as the available therapeutic options regarding local treatment and systemic therapy, all within the context of updated data from clinical trials. In this regard, the role of novel targeted agents for the treatment of brain metastases from RCC, such as the multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors sunitinib and sorafenib, will be updated and discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*