The evolving role of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma: a systematic review

Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, S. De Placido, Martina Pagliuca, Matteo Ferro, Giuseppe Lucarelli, S. Rossetti, Davide Bosso, Livio Puglia, Piero Pignataro, Ilaria Ascione, Ottavio De Cobelli, Michele Caraglia, Michele Aieta, Daniela Terracciano, Gaetano Facchini, C. Buonerba, Guru Sonpavde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: While the majority of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors currently used for the therapy of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) are small molecule agents inhibiting multiple targets, monoclonal antibodies are inhibitors of specific targets, which may decrease off-target effects while preserving on-target activity. A few monoclonal antibodies have already been approved for mRCC (bevacizumab, nivolumab), while many others may play an important role in the therapeutic scenario of mRCC. Areas covered: This review describes emerging monoclonal antibodies for treating RCC. Currently, bevacizumab, a VEGF monoclonal antibody, is approved in combination with interferon for the therapy of metastatic RCC, while nivolumab, a Programmed Death (PD)-1 inhibitor, is approved following prior VEGF inhibitor treatment. Other PD-1 and PD-ligand (L)-1 inhibitors are undergoing clinical development. Expert opinion: Combinations of inhibitors of the PD1/PD-L1 axis with VEGF inhibitors or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen (CTLA)-4 inhibitors have shown promising efficacy in mRCC. The development of biomarkers predictive for benefit and rational tolerable combinations are both important pillars of research to improve outcomes in RCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1387-1401
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016



  • bevacizumab
  • Kidney neoplasm
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • nivolumab
  • targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Cite this

Di Lorenzo, G., De Placido, S., Pagliuca, M., Ferro, M., Lucarelli, G., Rossetti, S., Bosso, D., Puglia, L., Pignataro, P., Ascione, I., De Cobelli, O., Caraglia, M., Aieta, M., Terracciano, D., Facchini, G., Buonerba, C., & Sonpavde, G. (2016). The evolving role of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma: a systematic review. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 16(11), 1387-1401.