Background: Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) is the most common tumor originating from the kidneys. In comparison to other solid tumors, RCC is poorly sensitive to conventional therapeutic modalities. As such, metastatic RCC (mRCC) continues to be associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Targeted agents have shown remarkable progress in RCC management with improved patients' outcomes, but rarely induce complete response and patients develop resistance to therapy eventually. However, it is well known that RCC represents one of the most immunogenic cancers and is able to evoke immune response naturally, thus prompted the emergence of several immunotherapeutic strategies in the management of RCC with variable degrees of success. Modulating the immune system with cytokines, vaccines, and T-cell modulating agents offer hope for the patients with RCC.
Conclusion: This review critically summarizes the state of the art in RCC therapeutic regimen with immunomodulation agents. We will focus on the clinical data and ongoing clinical trials exploring the use of immunotherapy with different agents for RCC. In addition, different novel immunotherapeutic agents are being investigated for their combination therapy with other immune therapies or other modalities. Prospects (e.g., potential future immunological targets, combination regimens, appropriate sequencing) for immune therapies of RCC are also set forth in this work.
Keywords: Renal cell carcinoma, immunotherapy, cytokines, vaccine therapy, T-cell modulation, interleukin-2.