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PURPOSE OF REVIEW - Renal cell carcinoma continues to be a devastating cancer, which currently has few effective treatment options. Recent developments in our understanding of the molecular biology of renal cell carcinoma, particularly clear cell renal cell carcinoma, have led to the development of new agents targeting portions of the hypoxic response pathway.
RECENT FINDINGS - Although high-dose bolus interleukin-2 remains the mainstay of treatment for metastatic disease, the number of patients deriving long-term benefit from this treatment are few, and the use of cytokine therapy in the adjuvant setting has been disappointing. However, the expanding use of minimally invasive surgical techniques has continued to improve patient care. Systemic advances include antibody therapeutics such as bevacizumab, which targets vascular endothelial growth factor signaling, as well as emerging small molecule inhibitors of angiogenesis-related signaling events.
SUMMARY - In addition to progress in surgical techniques and supportive care of patients with renal cell carcinoma, a host of promising targeted therapies for renal cell carcinoma are on the horizon.