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Around 12,500 new cases of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are diagnosed annually in the UK, and about a third of these cases initially present with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (non-localised or metastatic).
Non-localised RCC has significantly worse 5-year survival outcomes compared with localised disease. The treatment options for patients with metastatic RCC includes cytoreductive nephrectomy, in which patients have their kidney surgically removed (nephrectomy) followed by drug treatment. Early drug treatments included interferon and interleukin-2–based therapies, which have now been superseded by targeted therapies and immunotherapies.
This review looks at the role of cytoreductive nephrectomy for the treatment of metastatic RCC by investigating clinical trial results, and concludes that new clinical trials are needed to further evaluate the role of cytoreductive nephrectomy in metastatic RCC in the setting of immunotherapy.