Advanced Non-Clear Cell Kidney Cancer: In Search of Rational Treatment Approaches

Cancer J. 2020 Sep/Oct;26(5):441-447. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000474.


Non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (nccRCC) accounts for approximately 25% of RCC diagnoses. Although broadly labeled as "nccRCC," they comprised a host of histologies that include papillary, chromophobe, unclassified, and others. Moreover, these histological variants are further subclassified on the basis of genomic profiling, thereby highlighting nccRCC to be anything but a homogenous cohort of RCC. The heterogeneity of nccRCC has proved challenging in developing therapeutics for this population. Although ccRCC therapeutic data have been commonly extrapolated for the treatment of nccRCC, the overall poor outcome of these patients highlights an unmet need. In an era of precision medicine, genomic analysis, and predictive biomarkers, novel approach to drug design and development is necessary to optimize treatment outcomes in nccRCC patients. Herein, we provide an overview of the nccRCC histologies, clinical trial data, and future opportunities for treatment options and development in nccRCC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / genetics
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Precision Medicine
  • Treatment Outcome