Stereotactic radiotherapy combined with immunotherapy or targeted therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma

BJU Int. 2021 Jun;127(6):703-711. doi: 10.1111/bju.15284. Epub 2020 Nov 19.


Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) concurrently receiving targeted therapy (TT) or immunotherapy.

Patients and methods: Data on patients with mRCC were extracted from a retrospective international multicentre register study (TOaSTT), investigating SRT concurrent (≤30 days) with TT/immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy. Overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), local metastasis control (LC) and time to systemic therapy switch were analysed using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank testing. Clinical and treatment factors influencing survival were analysed using multivariate Cox regression. Acute and late SRT-induced toxicity were defined according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v.4.03.

Results: Fifty-three patients who underwent 128 sessions of SRT were included, of whom 58% presented with oligometastatic disease (OMD). ICIs and TT were received by 32% and 68% of patients, respectively. Twenty patients (37%) paused TT for a median (range) of 14 (2-21) days. ICI therapy was not paused in any patient. A median (range) of 1 (1-5) metastatic tumour was treated per patient, with a median (range) SRT dose of 65 (40-129.4) Gy (biologically effective dose). The OS, LC and PFS rates at 1 year were 71%, 75% and 25%, respectively. The median OS and PFS were not significantly different among patients receiving TT vs those receiving ICIs (P = 0.329). New lesions were treated with a repeat radiotherapy course in 46% of patients. After 1 year, 62% of patients remained on the same systemic therapy as at the time of SRT; this was more frequent for ICI therapy compared to TT (83% vs 36%; P = 0.035). OMD was an independent prognostic factor for OS (P = 0.004, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.035-0.528) and PFS (P = 0.004; 95% CI 0.165-0.717) in multivariate analysis. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG-PS) was the other independent prognostic factor for OS (P = 0.001, 95% CI 0.001-0.351). Acute grade 3 toxicity was observed in two patients, and late grade 3 toxicity in one patient. No grade 4 or 5 toxicity was observed.

Conclusion: Combined treatment with TT or immunotherapy and concurrent SRT was safe, without signals of increased severe toxicity. As we observed no signal of excess toxicity, full-dose SRT should be considered to achieve optimal metastasis control in patients receiving TT or immunotherapy. Favourable PFS and OS were observed for patients with oligometastatic RCC with a good ECOG-PS, which should form the basis for prospective testing of this treatment strategy in properly designed clinical trials.

Keywords: #KidneyCancer; #kcsm; #uroonc; concurrent; immunotherapy; oligometastases; renal cell carcinoma; stereotactic; targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiosurgery*
  • Retrospective Studies