Treatment options for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have been limited due to its resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Benefits from immunotherapeutic agents provide only a small subset of patients. During the past decade major advances have been made toward understanding the molecular basis of RCC development. Such acquired knowledge has offered unique opportunities for the development of molecular targeting agents. These agents are predominately small molecules or monoclonal antibodies that exert their action through modulation of protein activity or inhibition of amplified signals directly implicated in disease mechanism. To date, some of newly molecular targeted agents have entered advanced phases of clinical development, received marketing authorization by regulatory agencies and have opened a possibility of multiple treatment options. This article overviews current knowledge in RCC molecular pathology with recent clinical data, and discuss present strategies for future development of targeted therapies.
Keywords: Renal cell carcinoma, molecular targeting agents, hypoxia inducible factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, sorafenib, sunitinib, temsirolimus
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