Cytoreductive nephrectomy in patients with synchronous metastases from renal cell carcinoma: results from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium

Eur Urol. 2014 Oct;66(4):704-10. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2014.05.034. Epub 2014 Jun 13.


Background: The benefit of cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) for overall survival (OS) is unclear in patients with synchronous metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) in the era of targeted therapy.

Objective: To determine OS benefit of CN compared with no CN in mRCC patients treated with targeted therapies.

Design, setting, and participants: Retrospective data from patients with synchronous mRCC (n=1658) from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) were used to compare 982 mRCC patients who had a CN with 676 mRCC patients who did not.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: OS was compared and hazard ratios (HRs) adjusted for IMDC poor prognostic criteria.

Results and limitations: Patients who had CN had better IMDC prognostic profiles versus those without (favorable, intermediate, or poor in 9%, 63%, and 28% vs 1%, 45%, and 54%, respectively). The median OS of patients with CN versus without CN was 20.6 versus 9.5 mo (p<0.0001). When adjusted for IMDC criteria to correct for imbalances, the HR of death was 0.60 (95% confidence interval, 0.52-0.69; p<0.0001). Patients estimated to survive <12 mo may receive marginal benefit from CN. Patients who have four or more of the IMDC prognostic criteria did not benefit from CN. Data were collected retrospectively.

Conclusions: CN is beneficial in synchronous mRCC patients treated with targeted therapy, even after adjusting for prognostic factors. Patients with estimated survival times <12 mo or four or more IMDC prognostic factors may not benefit from CN. This information may aid in patient selection as we await results from randomized controlled trials.

Patient summary: We looked at the survival outcomes of metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients who did or did not have the primary tumor removed. We found that most patients benefited from tumor removal, except for those with four or more IMDC risk factors.

Keywords: Cytoreductive nephrectomy; Metastatic renal cell carcinoma; Targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Databases, Factual
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Indoles / therapeutic use
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / surgery
  • Nephrectomy / methods
  • Nephrectomy / mortality
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sunitinib
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Indoles
  • Pyrroles
  • Sunitinib