Neoadjuvant Cabozantinib in Renal-Cell Carcinoma: A Brief Review

Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2020 Dec;18(6):e688-e691. doi: 10.1016/j.clgc.2020.04.003. Epub 2020 Apr 21.


Nephrectomy is the reference-standard treatment for renal-cell carcinoma (RCC). For patients with unresectable disease, tumor may be shrunk by using chemotherapy, thereby permitting surgical resection, which can be curative. We provided neoadjuvant cabozantinib, the preferred tyrosine kinase inhibitor for advanced RCC of poor and intermediate risk, to two patients with initially unresectable RCCs. In both patients, this led to tumor shrinkage of > 50% after 4 months of therapy, which permitted surgical resection. Both tumor specimens also showed strong pathologic tumor response. The robust responses observed with cabozantinib, even at reduced doses, suggest it to be an effective neoadjuvant option in RCC. Our novel experience with neoadjuvant cabozantinib, combined with our review of the use of cabozantinib in RCC, indicates that providing preoperative cabozantinib to facilitate potentially curative surgical resection has good results and should be further explored.

Keywords: Immunotherapy; Neoadjuvant therapy; Radical nephrectomy; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Unresectable renal cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anilides / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Pyridines


  • Anilides
  • Pyridines
  • cabozantinib