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The use of radiotherapy for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is not routine. In a recent study, the use of radiotherapy to delay the use of medicines (systemic therapy) for patients with a small number of RCC metastases (oligometastatic) was assessed.
There were 30 patient in the study, al of whom had clear cell RCC and had a nephrectomy before enrolment. All patients completed at least one round of radiotherapy. Average time to when the radiotherapy stopped working and the cancer started growing again (progression-free survival) was 22·7 months. Three (10%) patients had severe side effects and one had a life-threatening side effect.
Radiotherapy might help to delay the use of systemic therapy and could allow sustained breaks in systemic treatment for some patients with oligometastatic RCC.