Novel Therapeutic Approaches and Targets Currently Under Evaluation for Renal Cell Carcinoma: Waiting for the Revolution

  • Veronica Mollica
  • Vincenzo Di NunnoEmail author
  • Lidia Gatto
  • Matteo Santoni
  • Alessia Cimadamore
  • Liang Cheng
  • Antonio Lopez-Beltran
  • Rodolfo Montironi
  • Salvatore Pisconti
  • Nicola Battelli
  • Francesco Massari
Review Article


Management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma has drastically changed in the last few years, witnessing the advent of more and more target therapies and, recently, of immune-checkpoint inhibitors. On the other hand, the adjuvant setting still lacks a clear beneficial treatment. Medical treatment still remains a compelling challenge. A large number of clinical trials is ongoing with the aim to identify new therapeutic approaches to expand the options in our repertoire. Several strategies are under investigation in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). These include new targeted agents and combinations of target therapy and immunotherapy. Programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1), programmed death receptor ligand 1 (PD-L1) and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) are just part of the intricate network that regulates our immune response to cancer cells. Co-stimulators, such as glucocorticoid-induced TNFR-related protein (GITR) and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 4 (OX40), and co-repressors, example.g. T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM-3) and lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3), also take part. As knowledge of the functioning of the immune system grows, so do these pathways to target with new drugs. This review is an overview of the current state of the clinical research, providing a report of ongoing Phase I, II and III clinical trials for localized and metastatic RCC, including novel target therapies, novel immunotherapy agents and new combinations strategies.


Compliance with ethical standards


The authors declare that no source of funding was obtained for this research.

Conflict of interest

Mollica V, Di Nunno V, Gatto L, Santoni M, Cimadamore A, Cheng L, Lopez- Beltran A, Montironi R, Pisconti S, Battelli N and Massari F declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica Mollica
    • 1
  • Vincenzo Di Nunno
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lidia Gatto
    • 2
  • Matteo Santoni
    • 3
  • Alessia Cimadamore
    • 4
  • Liang Cheng
    • 5
  • Antonio Lopez-Beltran
    • 6
  • Rodolfo Montironi
    • 4
  • Salvatore Pisconti
    • 2
  • Nicola Battelli
    • 3
  • Francesco Massari
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of OncologyS.Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Oncology UnitSG Moscati Hospital of TarantoTarantoItaly
  3. 3.Macerata HospitalMacerataItaly
  4. 4.Section of Pathological Anatomy, United Hospital, School of MedicinePolytechnic University of the Marche RegionAnconaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  6. 6.Department of Pathology and Surgery, Faculty of MedicineCordoba UniversityCordobaSpain

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