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A recent review published in Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care this month has shown that although medicines for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have improved patient survival, remission and cure of the cancer is rare with medicines alone. In this review, the researchers look at outcomes following nephrectomy and surgical removal of all metastases (metastasectomy) in patients with metastatic RCC who are also being treated with medicines for their cancer.
Surgery to remove metastases (metastasectomy) is sometimes used for the treatment of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have only a few metastases, in addition to treatment with medicines for advanced RCC. Observational data from patients who have had metastasectomy show that there are improved outcomes for these patients, especially when complete metastasectomy is possible.
However, although metastasectomy has been shown to improve patient outcomes, it is difficult to determine whether these findings are biased by favourable tumour biology and patient selection.