The prognostic value of the previous nephrectomy in pretreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma receiving immunotherapy: a sub-analysis of the Meet-URO 15 study

J Transl Med. 2022 Sep 30;20(1):435. doi: 10.1186/s12967-022-03601-6.


Background: Nephrectomy is considered the backbone of managing patients with localized and selected metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). The prognostic role of nephrectomy has been widely investigated with cytokines and targeted therapy, but it is still unclear in the immunotherapy era.

Methods: We investigated the Meet-URO-15 study dataset of 571 pretreated mRCC patients receiving nivolumab as second or further lines about the prognostic role of the previous nephrectomy (received in either the localized or metastatic setting) in the overall population and according to the Meet-URO score groups.

Results: Patients who underwent nephrectomy showed a significantly reduced risk of death (HR 0.44, 95% CI 0.32-0.60, p < 0.001) with a longer median overall survival (OS) (35.9 months vs 12.1 months), 1-year OS of 71.6% vs 50.5% and 2-years OS of 56.5% vs 22.0% compared to those who did not. No significant interaction between nephrectomy and the overall five Meet-URO score risk groups was observed (p = 0.17). It was statistically significant when merging group 1 with 2 and 3 and group 4 with 5 (p = 0.038) and associated with a longer OS for the first three prognostic groups (p < 0.001), but not for groups 4 and 5 (p = 0.54).

Conclusions: Our study suggests an overall positive impact of the previous nephrectomy on the outcome of pretreated mRCC patients receiving immunotherapy. The clinical relevance of cytoreductive nephrectomy, optimal timing and patient selection deserves further investigation, especially for patients with Meet-URO scores of 1 to 3, who are the once deriving benefit in our analyses. However, that benefit is not evident for IMDC poor-risk patients (including the Meet-URO score groups 4 and 5) and a subgroup of IMDC intermediate-risk patients defined as group 4 by the Meet-URO score.

Keywords: Bone metastases; IMDC score; Immunotherapy; Meet URO score; Metastatic renal cell carcinoma; Nephrectomy; Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio; Nivolumab; Prognostic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / surgery
  • Cytokines
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Nephrectomy
  • Nivolumab / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Cytokines
  • Nivolumab