A new patient-focused approach to the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Establishing customized treatment options

Joaquim Bellmunt, Tim Eisen, Cezary Szczylik, Peter Mulders, Camillo Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that six targeted agents - sorafenib, sunitinib, temsirolimus, everolimus, bevacizumab and pazopanib - improve outcome in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The populations enrolled in the pivotal phase III studies differed, and, to date, no head-to-head comparisons allow us to judge relative efficacy and tolerability. Populations recruited to RCTs under-represent certain patient subtypes, notably the elderly and those with comorbidities. Choosing the agent most appropriate in a specific case requires that we take into account the characteristics of the patient, the nature of their disease, and the history and aims of therapy. Data from expanded access programmes and clinical experience may be as relevant as the results of RCTs when making this difficult decision. To show how different sources of data can be integrated, we propose a schema that acknowledges nine patient-, disease-, and treatment-related factors relevant to clinical decision-making and provides an easily understood visual indication of the strength with which a particular agent can be recommended for use in specific subgroups of patients. As an example, we show how this tool shows the suitability of sorafenib in RCC subpopulations of differing age, prognosis, performance status, tumour burden and distribution, treatment history, and comorbidity. This patient-focused approach has broad application to other agents and tumour types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1199
Number of pages10
JournalBJU International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011



  • angiogenesis inhibitors
  • cytokines
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • sorafenib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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