Safety and efficacy of molecularly targeted agents in patients with metastatic kidney cancer with renal dysfunction

Anticancer Drugs. 2011 Sep;22(8):794-800. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e328346af0d.


Multiple molecularly targeted agents (MTAs) have been approved for the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Sunitinib and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (temsirolimus, everolimus) are primarily metabolized in the liver, whereas the metabolism of bevacizumab is unclear. There are limited data on the toxicity profile and the efficacy of these agents in patients with renal insufficiency (RI). This is clinically relevant, especially as about one-third of patients with mRCC have renal dysfunction. The primary objective was to assess the safety and efficacy of targeted agents in patients with mRCC with RI. Medical records of patients with mRCC at Wayne State University, started on sunitinib, temsirolimus, everolimus, or bevacizumab, were reviewed. Patients with a calculated creatinine clearance of less than or equal to 60 ml/min were deemed to have RI. Data on safety and efficacy of MTA therapy were collected and analyzed with respect to renal function. RI was observed in 33% of our patients with mRCC. The incidence of toxicities, responses, time to progression, and overall survival were not significantly different in patients with RI compared with patients with normal renal function. Patients with RI had larger median increases in blood pressure with sunitinib and bevacizumab, increased incidence of thyroid dysfunction with sunitinib, and increased incidence of rash and dose interruptions with mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, than did patients with normal renal function. In conclusion, RI was commonly observed in our patients with mRCC. Molecularly targeted agents are well tolerated, and efficacy seems to be maintained in patients with RI. Vigilant monitoring of hypertension would be recommended for patients receiving sunitinib and bevacizumab.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Renal Insufficiency / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival


  • Antineoplastic Agents