The frontline treatment options for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) are evolving rapidly since the approval of combination immunotherapies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In particular, in combination with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs), immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have significantly improved the outcome of patients with mRCC compared to TKI monotherapy. Here, we review the preclinical data supporting the combination of ICIs with VEGFR TKIs. The VEGF-signaling inhibition could ideally sustain immunotherapy through a positive modulation of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Antiangiogenetics, in fact, with their inhibitory activity on myelopoiesis that indirectly reduces myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and regulatory T cells' (Tregs) frequency and function, could have a role in determining an effective anti-tumor immune response. These findings are relevant for the challenges posed to clinicians concerning the clinical impact on treatment strategies for mRCC.
- metastatic renal cell carcinoma
- immune checkpoint inhibitors
- tyrosine-kinase inhibitors