Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is increasing in incidence and one third of newly diagnosed cases already are metastatic. The metastatic spread of solid tumors renders RCC incurable by surgical resection and consequently more difficult to treat. New molecular-targeted therapies have played a pivotal role in RCC treatment. Unfortunately, tumors frequently develop resistance to these targeted therapies by activating bypass pathways in which alternative signaling or biochemical pathways are activated in response to targeted inhibition of a signaling pathway, allowing cancer cells to continue to survive. Although the advent of immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors has led to significant changes in the treatment landscape for advanced RCC, many issues remain to be resolved. For these reasons, there is an urgent need to develop novel therapies and new treatment paradigms for patients with RCC. Much research has been performed thus far in identifying novel targets and treatment strategies in RCC and many of these currently are under investigation and/or in clinical trials. In this article, we discuss therapeutic options in the management of RCC with a focus on the new therapeutic approaches currently investigated in research and for use in the clinic. We divide these potential novel therapies into five groups: nonbiologics, small-molecule drugs, biologics, immunomodulatory therapies, and peptide drugs. We also present some therapeutics and treatment paradigms.
Keywords: Biotherapeutics; biologics; immunomodulatory drugs; kidney cancer; small molecules.