Over 65,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year and nearly 13,000 die of this disease. Kidney cancer is not a single disease, it is made up of a number of different types of cancer, each with a different histology, a different clinical course, responding differently to therapy and caused by a different gene. Study of the 13 genes that are known to cause kidney cancer has led to the understanding that kidney cancer is a metabolic disease. Recent discoveries of chromatin remodeling/histone modifying genes, such as PBRM1 and SETD2, have opened up new areas of intense interest in the study of the fundamental genetic basis of kidney cancer. New approaches to immunotherapy with agents such as the CTLA4 inhibitor, ipilumumab, have opened up promising new directions for clinical trials. A number of new agents targeting of VEGF receptor signaling and the mTOR pathways as well as novel approaches targeting HIF2 will hopefully provide the foundation for the development of effective forms of therapy for this disease.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.