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Abstract

A better understanding of the molecular biology of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has led to a dramatic paradigm shift in the treatment of patients with metastatic disease. Historically, a nonspecific immune approach using cytokines was employed, but recently this has transitioned to a molecularly-targeted approach against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and related pathways. Several anti-VEGF agents, including ligand-binding agents such as bevacizumab and the small molecule inhibitors of VEGF and related receptors such as sunitinib and sorafenib, have demonstrated clinical activity in patients with metastatic RCC. Other agents that inhibit alternative targets such as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) have also demonstrated activity. This generation of novel molecular targeted therapies continues to show great promise. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current management and to discuss potential future directions in the management of metastatic RCC.12