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11.08.2017 | short review | Ausgabe 4/2017 Open Access

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 4/2017

Novel concepts of antiangiogenic therapies in metastatic renal cell cancer

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 4/2017
MD PhD Renate Pichler, MD PhD Isabel Heidegger


The era of antiangiogenic drugs targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway has become a mainstay in the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), showing primary responses in 65–70% of patients. Nevertheless, most of those patients progress to angiogenesis inhibitors over time due to different modes of resistance (adaptive and intrinsic). Both in vitro and in vivo analyses provided evidence that PD-L1 upregulation in hypoxia conditions is dependent on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2alpha and is associated with an overexpression of VEGF. Thus, additional blockade of PD-L1 along with inhibition of angiogenesis pathways seems to represent a novel and innovative treatment concept in mRCC. In this short review, we provide an overview on ongoing phase III trials combining antiangiogenic therapies with checkpoint inhibitors in the first-line setting. Moreover, we critically analyze the impact of recently approved therapeutic antiangiogenic agents and checkpoint inhibitors after progression to first-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their mode of action. In addition, response and resistance hypotheses and biomarkers to antiangiogenic therapy in clinical practice are critically discussed.

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