Dr. Harshman Discusses the Potential for New RCC Treatments

Lauren C. Harshman, MD
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018



Lauren C. Harshman, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, senior physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the potential for new treatment options in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

In nonmetastatic RCC, there has not been much progress in developing treatment beyond resection of the primary tumor, says Harshman. Still, a large number of patients, especially those with higher-stage disease, have a very high risk of recurrence. Harshman says that in 40 years of moving agents up from the metastatic setting, there has only been 1 positive trial, which ended up being countered by a negative trial. This trial was with sunitinib (Sutent), and it failed to improve progression-free survival when used prior to cytoreductive nephrectomy.

There are 3 targeted therapy studies that will mature in the coming year, says Harshman. Additionally, there has been excitement with checkpoint inhibitors. The ability to test checkpoint inhibitors earlier in the disease course with surgery make sense, Harshman explains.


Lauren C. Harshman, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, senior physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the potential for new treatment options in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

In nonmetastatic RCC, there has not been much progress in developing treatment beyond resection of the primary tumor, says Harshman. Still, a large number of patients, especially those with higher-stage disease, have a very high risk of recurrence. Harshman says that in 40 years of moving agents up from the metastatic setting, there has only been 1 positive trial, which ended up being countered by a negative trial. This trial was with sunitinib (Sutent), and it failed to improve progression-free survival when used prior to cytoreductive nephrectomy.

There are 3 targeted therapy studies that will mature in the coming year, says Harshman. Additionally, there has been excitement with checkpoint inhibitors. The ability to test checkpoint inhibitors earlier in the disease course with surgery make sense, Harshman explains.



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