The role of cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) in the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) in the targeted therapy (TT) era is controversial.
To assess if CN versus no CN is associated with improved overall survival (OS) in patients with mRCC treated in the TT era and beyond, characterize the morbidity of CN, identify prognostic and predictive factors, and evaluate outcomes following treatment sequencing.
Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched from inception to June 4, 2018 for English-language clinical trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies evaluating patients with mRCC who underwent and those who did not undergo CN. The primary outcome was OS. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Cochrane Collaborative tools.
We identified 63 reports on 56 studies. Risk of bias was considered moderate or serious for 50 studies. CN was associated with improved OS among patients with mRCC in 10 nonrandomized studies, while one randomized trial (CARMENA) found that OS with sunitinib alone was noninferior to that with CN followed by sunitinib. The risk of perioperative mortality and Clavien ≥3 complications ranged from 0% to 10.4% and from 3% to 29.4%, respectively, with no meaningful differences between upfront CN or CN after presurgical systemic therapy (ST). Notably, 12.9-30.4% of patients did not receive ST after CN. Factors most consistently prognostic of decreased OS were progression on presurgical ST, high C-reactive protein, high neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio, poor International Metastatic renal cell carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC)/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) risk classification, sarcomatoid dedifferentiation, and poor performance status. At the same time, good performance status and good/intermediate IMDC/MSKCC risk classification were most consistently predictive of OS benefit with CN. In a randomized trial investigating the sequence of CN and ST (SURTIME), an OS trend was observed with CN after a period of ST in patients without progression compared with upfront CN. However, the study was underpowered and results are exploratory.
Currently, ST should be prioritized in the management of patients with de novo mRCC who require medical therapy. CN maintains a role in patients with limited metastatic burden amenable to surveillance or metastasectomy, and may potentially be considered in patients with favorable response after initial ST or for symptom's palliation.
In the contemporary era, receiving systemic therapy is the priority in metastatic kidney cancer. Nephrectomy still has a role in patients with limited burden of metastases, well-selected patients based on established prognostic and predictive factors, and patients with a favorable response after initial systemic therapy.
European urology. 2018 Oct 25 [Epub ahead of print]
Bimal Bhindi, E Jason Abel, Laurence Albiges, Karim Bensalah, Stephen A Boorjian, Siamak Daneshmand, Jose A Karam, Ross J Mason, Thomas Powles, Axel Bex
Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Southern Alberta Institute of Urology, Calgary, AB, Canada. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA., Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France., Department of Urology, University of Rennes, Rennes, France., Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA., Institute of Urology, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA., Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK., Department of Urology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.