Over the last 20 years, different therapies have been considered as the mainstay for the treatment of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Since angiogenesis is a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of renal carcinoma, research is still focusing on the inhibition of new vessel growth through the development of novel and potent tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as cabozantinib. On the other hand, a new therapeutic scenario has opened up in the forefront with immunotherapy. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which already represent a standard treatment option in pretreated mRCC patients, are revolutionizing the frontline therapeutic armamentarium of mRCC. Upfront combination immunotherapy as well as combinations of immunotherapy with targeted agents showed to significantly improved outcomes of mRCC patients compared to single-agent TKIs. ICIs are associated with long-lasting responses. Nonetheless, several unmet needs remain, as a small proportion of patients shows primary refractoriness to immunotherapy. Multiple treatment strategies combining different mechanisms of action or targeting immune escape pathways are emerging with the aim to improve response rates and survival outcomes. This review summarizes current immunotherapeutic targets and therapies approved for mRCC, while examining mechanisms of resistance and future directions, with the aim to address novel treatment strategies and help in improving the management of this tumor.
ImmunoTargets and therapy. 2020 Nov 13*** epublish ***
Pierangela Sepe, Alessia Mennitto, Francesca Corti, Giuseppe Procopio
Genitourinary Cancer Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.