In this interview, Dr Rana McKay discusses the impact of age and gender on the outcomes of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who are receiving targeted treatment options and the implications of these findings for individualised care. She also touches upon the influence of age and gender on the toxicity of systemic treatments and the implications of this, and where future research efforts will focus.

A pooled analysis of 4736 patients with metastatic RCC who had been treated on phase 2 and 3 clinical trials was conducted to investigate the impact of age and gender on survival. Patients were analysed by age: young (<50 years), intermediate (50-70 years), elderly (>70 years), and gender.

The analysis showed that there was no difference in overall survival by age or gender (21.0 vs 17.3 vs 20.0 months for elderly vs intermediate vs young, respectively and 19.8 vs 19.0 months for male vs female patients, respectively). Interestingly, progression-free survival was shorter in younger individuals compared with the intermediate age patients (6.0 vs 7.1 months), but similar for male and female. Although adverse events were more common in elderly patients, serious adverse events were similar between groups.

In conclusion, understanding outcomes by age and gender is critical for individualised patient care. However, although age and gender do not necessarily impact cancer-specific outcomes, they can potentially impact toxicity of targeted therapies. Patients need to be aware of how they should be taking their medications, that they are reporting side effects, and they have been given clear instructions from their healthcare team regarding dose modifications in case of adverse events.

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