An understanding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways has greatly changed the way metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is treated. Based on available phase III randomized trials, anti-VEGF agents such as sunitinib, sorafenib, bevacizumab-based therapy, and mTOR-targeted agents such as temsirolimus and everolimus have been used in the treatment armamentarium for this disease. Now that agents directed against these pathways have largely replaced immunotherapy as the standard of care, new questions have emerged and are the subject of ongoing clinical trials. The development of new targeted therapies including axitinib, pazopanib, cediranib, volociximab, tivozanib (AV-951), BAY 73-4506, and c-met inhibitors such as GSK1363089 and ARQ197 may potentially expand the list of treatment options. Sequential and combination targeted therapies are currently under investigation in advanced disease as are adjuvant and neo-adjuvant approaches around nephrectomy.
adjuvant; combination therapy; mammalian target of rapamycin; neo-adjuvant; nonclear cell histologies; renal cell carcinoma; vascular endothelial growth factor
With an explosion of available treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) in recent years, it is important to recognize that approved targeted therapies fall broadly into only two mechanistic categories. The first category, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-directed therapies, includes sunitinib, pazopanib, sorafenib and bevacizumab. The second category includes inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), namely everolimus and temsirolimus. A pivotal trial of ever-olimus supports use of the agent in patients with mRCC refractory to VEGF- tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) therapy, while pivotal data for temsirolimus supports use in poor-prognosis patients as first-line therapy. Multiple reviews exist to delineate the laboratory and clinical development of mTOR inhibitors. This paper will outline the future applications of these therapies. It will explore ongoing trials evaluating combinations of mTOR inhibitors with other targeted therapies, along with sequencing strategies and biomarker discovery efforts. The application of mTOR inhibitors in unique populations is also described.
mTOR; Everolimus; Temsirolimus; Deferolimus; INTORACT; TORAVA; BeST; Biomarkers; Clinical trials
There are now a variety of therapies approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). These include the immunotherapeutics, alfa-interferon, and interleukin-2, and agents that target the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) via its tyrosine kinase, such as sorafenib, sunitinib, and pazopanib, or the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), such as temsirolimus and everolimus. Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against the ligand, VEGF, has shown activity against RCC as a single agent in patients who had failed prior cytokine therapy and as first line therapy in combination with interferon. The activity of bevacizumab in patients who had received and failed prior therapy has not been described. We report our experience in 4 patients with metastatic RCC who had failed prior cytokine, TKI, and mTOR inhibitors who were treated with bevacizumab as single agent therapy. These heavily pretreated patients sustained very prolonged periods of stable disease (median of 12 months) with very little toxicity and excellent quality of life. The activity of this agent in patients who had failed prior therapies directed against the VEGFR and mTOR suggests that therapy targeting the ligand, VEGF, is still a viable approach in these patients and deserves further study.
With the increasing understanding of the biology of the disease and the development of targeted therapy, there has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Traditionally patients with metastatic RCC have been treated with immunotherapy which has limited efficacy. The multikinase inhibitors sunitinib, sorafenib and pazopanib, the VEGF antibody bevacizumab in combination with interferon and the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus have all been shown to prolong progression-free survival in phase III studies. Here we review another mTOR inhibitor, everolimus (Afinitor®; Novartis, USA) which was approved in March 2009 by the US FDA for treatment of targeted-therapy refractory metastatic renal cell cancer. The phase III study of everolimus (the RECORD study) was terminated early after a significant difference in efficacy was noted in the treatment arm with everolimus (progression-free survival of 4.0 months in patients on the treatment arm vs 1.9 months in the placebo arm). The most common adverse events were stomatitis, pneumonitis, fatigue and infections. We review Phase I–III data with a particular emphasis on safety data and patient focused outcomes.
metastatic renal cell carcinoma; targeted therapy; mTOR; everolimus
The treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has recently evolved from being predominantly cytokine-based treatment to the use of targeted agents, which include sorafenib, sunitinib, bevacizumab (plus interferon alpha [IFN-α]), temsirolimus, everolimus, pazopanib, and most recently, axitinib. Improved understanding of the molecular pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of RCC has led to the development of specific targeted therapies for treating the disease. In Korea, it has been 5 years since targeted therapy became available for mRCC. Thus, we now have broader and better therapeutic options at hand, leading to a significantly improved prognosis for patients with mRCC. However, the treatment of mRCC remains a challenge and a major health problem. Many questions remain on the efficacy of combination treatments and on the best methods for achieving complete remission. Additional studies are needed to optimize the use of these agents by identifying those patients who would most benefit and by elucidating the best means of delivering these agents, either in combination or as sequential single agents. Furthermore, numerous ongoing research activities aim at improving the benefits of the new compounds in the metastatic situation or their application in the early phase of the disease. This review introduces what is currently known regarding the fundamental biology that underlies clear cell RCC, summarizes the clinical evidence supporting the benefits of targeted agents in mRCC treatment, discusses survival endpoints used in pivotal clinical trials, and outlines future research directions.
Molecular targeted therapy; mTOR protein; Renal cell carcinoma; Vascular endothelial growth factor A
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy failed to deliver decisive results in the systemic treatment of metastatic
renal cell carcinoma. Agents representing the current standards operate on members of the RAS signal transduction
pathway. Sunitinib (targeting vascular endothelial growth factor), temsirolimus (an inhibitor of the mammalian target of
rapamycin - mTOR) and pazopanib (a multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor) are used in the first line of
recurrent disease. A combination of bevacizumab (inhibition of angiogenesis) plus interferon α is also first-line therapy.
Second line options include everolimus (another mTOR inhibitor) as well as tyrosine kinase inhibitors for patients who
previously received cytokine. We review the results of clinical investigations focusing on survival benefit for these agents.
Additionally, trials focusing on new agents, including the kinase inhibitors axitinib, tivozanib, dovitinib and cediranib and
monoclonal antibodies including velociximab are also discussed. In addition to published outcomes we also include
follow-up and interim results of ongoing clinical trials. In summary, we give a comprehensive overview of current
advances in the systemic treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Biomarkers; everolimus; renal cell cancer; sunitinib; temsirolimus; tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
The agents currently approved for use in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) can be divided broadly into two categories: (1) vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-directed therapies or (2) inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The latter category includes everolimus and temsirolimus, both approved for distinct indications in mRCC. Everolimus gained its approval on the basis of phase III data showing a benefit in progression-free survival relative to placebo in patients previously treated with sunitinib and/or sorafenib. In contrast, temsirolimus was approved on the basis of a phase III trial in treatment-naïve patients with poor-risk mRCC, demonstrating an improvement in overall survival relative to interferon-alfa. While these pivotal trials have created unique positions for everolimus and temsirolimus in current clinical algorithms, the role of mTOR inhibitors in mRCC is being steadily revised and expanded through ongoing trials testing novel sequences and combinations. The clinical development of mTOR inhibitors is outlined herein.
metastatic renal cell carcinoma; mRCC; mTOR inhibitors
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for approximately 3% of all cancers and is refractory to cytotoxic chemotherapy – immunotherapy has until recently been the standard of care for advanced disease. Randomised trials reported in the last 5 years have demonstrated that a number of agents including the monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab, and the kinase inhibitors – sorafenib sunitinib, temsirolimus and everolimus – are active in advanced RCC. Bevacizumab is directed against the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key mediator of angiogenesis, whilst sorafenib and sunitinib inhibit a number of targets including the VEGF and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGFR) receptor tyrosine kinases. Temsirolimus and everolimus inhibit the intracellular mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase. Sunitinib and temsirolimus have demonstrated efficacy in comparison with immunotherapy in the first-line setting in patients with favourable and poor prognosis advanced disease respectively. In the second-line setting, everolimus has shown benefit over placebo in patients who progress following treatment with a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor and sorafenib has demonstrated efficacy in comparison with placebo in patients with immunotherapy-refractory disease. We review here recent clinical trial data and discuss future developments in the systemic treatment of RCC including combination and sequential therapy, adjuvant therapy, the role of biomarkers and the prospects for the development of rational mechanism-directed therapy in this disease.
renal cell carcinoma; bevacizumab; sorafenib; sunitinib; temsirolimus; everolimus
Metastatic clear cell renal cell cancer has traditionally been treated with cytokines (interferon or interleukin-2). Improved understanding of biology has engendered novel targeted therapeutic agents that have altered the natural history of this disease. The vascular endothelial growth factor and its related receptor and the mTOR signal transduction pathway have particularly been exploited. Sunitinib malate, sorafenib tosylate, temsirolimus, and bevacizumab have improved clinical outcomes in randomized trials. Other multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (lapatinib, axitinib, pazopanib) and antiangiogenic agents (VEGF Trap, lenalidomide) have also demonstrated activity in early studies. Combinations of these agents are being evaluated. The future of the therapy of renal cancer appears promising owing to the efficacy of these novel agents.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an intracellular serine/threonine protein kinase positioned at a central point in a variety of cellular signaling cascades. The established involvement of mTOR activity in the cellular processes that contribute to the development and progression of cancer has identified mTOR as a major link in tumorigenesis. Consequently, inhibitors of mTOR, including temsirolimus, everolimus, and ridaforolimus (formerly deforolimus) have been developed and assessed for their safety and efficacy in patients with cancer. Temsirolimus is an intravenously administered agent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Everolimus is an oral agent that has recently obtained US FDA and EMEA approval for the treatment of advanced RCC after failure of treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib. Ridaforolimus is not yet approved for any indication. The use of mTOR inhibitors, either alone or in combination with other anticancer agents, has the potential to provide anticancer activity in numerous tumor types. Cancer types in which these agents are under evaluation include neuroendocrine tumors, breast cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, sarcoma, endometrial cancer, and non-small-cell lung cancer. The results of ongoing clinical trials with mTOR inhibitors, as single agents and in combination regimens, will better define their activity in cancer.
Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) poses one of the great therapeutic challenges in oncology. RCC is predominantly refractory to treatment with traditional cytotoxic chemotherapies, and until recently management options were limited to immunotherapy or palliative care. However, in the past few years we have experienced a sea change in the treatment of advanced RCC with the introduction of targeted therapies that derive their efficacy at least in part through alterations in tumor angiogenesis. The tyrosine kinase inhibitors sunitinib, pazopanib, and sorafenib, the monoclonal antibody bevacizumab (in combination with interferon-α), and the rapamycin analogs, temsirolimus and everolimus, are now approved agents in the United States for the treatment of metastatic RCC. Efforts to expand upon these successes include developing novel antiangiogenic agents, optimizing concomitant and sequential regimens, identifying predictors of response to specific treatments, and further dissecting the underlying molecular pathogenesis of RCC to reveal novel therapeutic targets.
carcinoma; renal cell; therapeutics
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most lethal genitourinary malignancies. Recently, there has been a paradigm shift in the management of advanced RCC. New targeted therapies including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors have been developed which have shown promising results in a patient population who otherwise had very few options for treatment. The first mTOR inhibitor, temsirolimus, an intravenous prodrug, has shown improved overall survival in poor prognosis patients. More recently, an oral mTOR inhibitor, everolimus (RAD 001), has been developed which has been shown to delay disease progression in patients with metastatic RCC who have progressed on other targeted therapies. Although a survival advantage in phase III trials is seen with everolimus, associated systemic toxicities, while generally well tolerated, are not insignificant. These include mucositis, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and pneumonitis. Despite the side effects, emerging evidence points to everolimus as the optimal second-line treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
metastatic renal cell carcinoma; everolimus; mTOR inhibitors; VEGF inhibitors
Over the last 6 years, the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has undergone dramatic changes. A better understanding of the pathogenesis and tumor biology of sporadic renal cell carcinoma has led to the approval of 6 drug regimens: 3 oral multi-targeted tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (sorafenib, sunitinib, and pazopanib), 2 inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (temsirolimus and everolimus), and 1 monoclonal antibody against the vascular endothelial growth factor (bevacizumab). Pazopanib, a multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets VEGFR-1, -2, and-3; PDGFR-α and PDGFR-β, and c-Kit, was approved for the treatment of mRCC in October 2009, several years after the other drugs in its class. The efficacy and safety of pazopanib in Phase I, II, and III trials will be examined and its role in mRCC treatment will be described. Future studies that may clarify pazopanib’s role in mRCC will be discussed. Based on pazopanib’s demonstrated efficacy in treatment-naïve and cytokine-refractory patients, along with a seemingly favorable toxicity profile compared with other multi-targeted tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, pazopanib may have a unique niche in the armamentarium of treatment options for mRCC. Results from ongoing studies are awaited to confirm pazopanib’s favorable efficacy-toxicity ratio, especially in comparison with the previous first-line standard-of-care, sunitinib.
pazopanib; GW786034; VEGFR; TKI; renal cell carcinoma
Multiple molecularly targeted agents (MTAs) have been approved for the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma(mRCC). Sunitinib and M-TOR inhibitors (temsirolimus, everolimus) are primarily metabolized in the liver, while the metabolism of bevacizumab is unclear. There are limited data on the toxicity profile and efficacy of these agents in patients with renal impairment(RI). This is clinically relevant especially since about one third of mRCC patients have renal dysfunction.
The primary objective was to assess the safety and efficacy of targeted agents in mRCC patients with RI. Medical records of patients with mRCC at Wayne State University started on sunitinib, temsirolimus, everolimus or bevacizumab were reviewed. Patients with a calculated creatinine clearance(CrCl) of ≤60ml/min were deemed to have RI. Data on safety and efficacy of MTA therapy were collected and analyzed with respect to renal function.
RI was observed in 33% of our mRCC patients. The incidence of toxicities, responses, time to progression(TTP), and overall survival(OS) were not significantly different in patients with RI compared to patients with normal renal function. Patients with RI had larger median increases in blood pressure with sunitinib and bevacizumab, increased incidence of thyroid dysfunction with sunitinib, and increased incidence of rash and dose interruptions with m-TOR inhibitors, than did patients with normal renal function.
RI was commonly observed in our mRCC patients. MTAs are well tolerated and efficacy appears to be maintained in patients with RI. Vigilant monitoring of hypertension would be recommended for pts receiving sunitinib and bevacizumab.
renal dysfunction; kidney cancer; sunitinib; temsirolimus; bevacizumab; everolimus
The therapeutic options in metastatic renal cell carcinoma have been recently expanded by the discovery of the VHL gene, the mutation of which is associated with development of clear cell carcinoma, and overexpression of the angiogenesis pathway, resulting in a very vascular tumor. This breakthrough in science led to the development of a variety of small molecules inhibiting the VEGF-dependent angiogenic pathway, such as sunitinib and sorafenib. These agents prolong overall and progression-free survival, respectively. The result was the development of robust front-line therapies which ultimately fail and are associated with disease progression. In this setting, there existed an unmet need for developing second-line therapies for patients with refractory metastatic renal cell carcinoma (MRCC). Everolimus (RAD 001) is an oral inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III trial of everolimus (RECORD-1) conducted in MRCC patients after progression on sunitinib or sorafenib, or both, demonstrated a progression-free survival benefit favoring the study drug (4.9 months vs 1.9 months, HR 0.33, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.43, P ≤ 0 0.001). Everolimus thus established itself as a standard of care in the second-line setting for patients with MRCC who have failed treatment with VEGF receptor inhibitors.
mTOR inhibitor; mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor; signal transduction inhibitor; renal cell carcinoma; targeted therapy
The landscape of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment has changed dramatically during recent years. Bevacizumab/interferon, sunitinib, sorafenib, temsirolimus, everolimus, and pazopanib have been proven effective in metastatic RCC. Axitinib is a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which inhibits the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) at subnanomolar level. Based on this extraordinary VEGFR inhibition, axitinib is considered a next-generation agent. The recent AXIS trial reported on axitinib’s efficacy in second line treatment of RCC, which led to its recent approval in the USA. This review focuses on the clinical efficacy of axitinib in RCC patients.
tyrosine kinase inhibitor; axitinib; tivozanib; renal cell carcinoma; VEGF
Sunitinib is an oral receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with potent antiangiogenic and antitumor activity that is approved for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumors and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Well-known side effects of sunitinib include hypertension, fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, cardiotoxicity, gastrointestinal toxicity and skin toxicity. In this study, we report the case of a 61-year-old male with papillary metastatic RCC who responded to sunitinib but developed generalized tonic-clonic seizures during the third cycle. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was compatible with reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). After the administration of anti-epileptic drugs and the withdrawal of sunitinib there was rapid clinical improvement. Notably, radiological characteristics of RPLS persisted during second-line therapy with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor everolimus and only resolved when everolimus was terminated due to disease progression. Although sunitinib-induced RPLS has been reported previously, our case is the first to additionally suggest that everolimus may sustain and therefore potentially contribute to the occurrence of RPLS.
renal cell cancer; sunitinib; reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome
For patients with metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) who progressed on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, the orally administered mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor everolimus has been shown to prolong progression free survival. Intriguingly, inhibition of mTOR also promotes expansion of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) that can inhibit anti-tumor immune responses in a clinically relevant way in various tumor types including RCC. This study intends to investigate whether the antitumor efficacy of everolimus can be increased by preventing the detrimental everolimus induced expansion of Tregs using a metronomic schedule of cyclophosphamide.
This phase I-II trial is a national multi-center study of different doses and schedules of low-dose oral cyclophosphamide in combination with a fixed dose of everolimus in patients with mRCC not amenable to or progressive after a VEGF-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor containing treatment regimen. In the phase I part of the study the optimal Treg-depleting dose and schedule of metronomic oral cyclophosphamide when given in combination with everolimus will be determined. In the phase II part of the study we will evaluate whether the percentage of patients progression free at 4 months of everolimus treatment can be increased from 50% to 70% by adding metronomic cyclophosphamide (in the dose and schedule determined in the phase I part). In addition to efficacy, we will perform extensive immune monitoring with a focus on the number, phenotype and function of Tregs, evaluate the safety and feasibility of the combination of everolimus and cyclophosphamide, perform monitoring of selected angiogenesis parameters and analyze everolimus and cyclophosphamide drug levels.
This phase I-II study is designed to determine whether metronomic cyclophosphamide can be used to counter the mTOR inhibitor everolimus induced Treg expansion in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and increase the antitumor efficacy of everolimus.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01462214, EudraCT number 2010-024515-13, Netherlands Trial Register number NTR3085.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a downstream effector of the PI3-K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Allosteric inhibitors of mTOR, everolimus and temsirolimus, have shown promising clinical activity in advanced renal cell carcinoma but their effect is far from durable and only a subset of patients experience substantial benefit from these agents. The PI3-K/Akt/mTOR pathway represents an intricate network of fine regulation and feedback loops, and resistance to allosteric mTOR inhibitors may be embedded within this complexity. In this article we highlight the molecular elements of the PI3-K/Akt/mTOR pathway, the clinical experience with everolimus and temsirolimus in advanced renal cell carcinoma, and the future directions in terms of sequential therapy, combinational therapy and development of novel therapeutic agents.
Akt; everolimus; mTOR; PI3-K; rapamycin; renal cancer; renal cell carcinoma; temsirolimus; TORC1
With 6 agents approved for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) within the past 5 years, there has undoubtedly been progress in treating this disease. However, the goal of cure remains elusive, and the agents nearest approval (ie axitinib and tivozanib) abide by the same paradigm as existing drugs (i.e., inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF, or mammalian target of rapamycin, mTOR, signaling). The current review will focus on investigational agents that diverge from this paradigm. Specifically, novel immunotherapeutic strategies will be discussed, including vaccine therapy, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) blockade, and programmed death-1 (PD-1) inhibition, as well as novel approaches to angiogenesis inhibition, such as abrogation of Ang/Tie-2 signaling. Pharmacologic strategies to block other potentially relevant signaling pathways, such as fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) or MET inhibition, are also in various stages of development. Although VEGF and mTOR inhibition have dramatically improved outcomes for patients with mRCC, a surge above the current plateau with these agents will likely require exploring new avenues.
renal cell carcinoma; targeted therapy; XL184; CVX-060; AMG-386; BMS-936558; AV-951
Angiogenesis in general and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling axis in particular is a validated target in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Clear-cell carcinoma of the kidney is now recognized as a malignancy that is sensitive to inhibitors of the VEGF pathway. Treatment options for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma have evolved in dramatic fashion over the past 6 years, and a new paradigm has developed. The cytokines interferon-α and interleukin-2 were previously utilized for therapy, but since December 2005, six new agents have been approved in the United States for the treatment of advanced RCC. Two are tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI’s) including sunitinib and recently pazopanib, and the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. The current review examines the evolving data with the next generation of TKI’s, axitinib and tivozanib being developed for the treatment of advanced RCC. These agents were synthesized to provide increased target specificity and enhanced target inhibition. The preclinical and clinical data are examined, an overview of the development of these TKI’s is provided, and discussion plus speculation concerning their potential roles as RCC therapy is provided.
renal cell carcinoma; tyrosine kinase inhibitors
The discovery of the molecular mechanisms underlying development of renal cell carcinoma have allowed for the development of novel targeted therapy for treatment of this disease. Recently, multiple agents have become approved by regulatory authorities for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, including sunitinib, sorafenib, bevacizumab (with interferon alpha), pazopanib, temsirolimus and everolimus. While these therapies have generated excitement and have clearly altered the treatment paradigm, multiple limitations have been elucidated over time. These include but are not limited to the fact that treatment is not associated with complete responses, a significant number of patients are primarily refractory to treatment, and clinical trials mostly include clear cell histology. Furthermore, the role of these therapies in the treatment of brain metastases remains unclear and therapies can have considerable toxicities. RECIST criteria (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors) can be inadequate for the assessment of these modalities’ treatment efficacy, and biomarkers predictive of individual patient benefit have been elusive. This review summarizes the major clinical data and discusses these limitations.
bevacizumab; everolimus; pazopanib; renal carcinoma; sorafenib; sunitinib; targeted therapy; temsirolimus
The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway appears to be the dominant pathway involved in tumor angiogenesis, providing a rationale for targeting the VEGF receptors (VEGFR-1, -2, and -3) in the treatment of cancers. In particular, VEGF signaling is thought to be important in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) because of the deregulation of the pathway through nearly uniform loss of the von Hippel Lindau protein. The tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) sorafenib, sunitinib, and pazopanib are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced RCC; however, these multitargeted agents inhibit a wide range of kinase targets in addition to the VEGFRs, resulting in a range of adverse effects unrelated to efficient VEGF blockade. This article reviews recent advances in the development of the second-generation VEGFR TKIs, including the more selective VEGFR TKIs tivozanib and axitinib, and focuses on the potential benefits of novel inhibitors with improved potency and selectivity.
Angiogenesis; Axitinib; Cediranib; Growth factors; Pazopanib; Renal cell carcinoma; Sorafenib; Sunitinib; Tivozanib; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors; Vascular endothelial growth factor
Rapamycin analogs, temsirolimus and everolimus, are approved for the treatment of advance renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Currently approved agents inhibit mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1). However, the mTOR kinase exists in two distinct multiprotein complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, and both complexes may be critical regulators of cell metabolism, growth and proliferation. Furthermore, it has been proposed that drug resistance develops due to compensatory activation of mTORC2 signaling during treatment with temsirolimus or everolimus. We evaluated Ku0063794, which is a small molecule that inhibits both mTOR complexes. Ku0063794 was compared to temsirolimus in preclinical models for renal cell carcinoma. Ku0063794 was effective in inhibiting the phosphorylation of signaling proteins downstream of both mTORC1 and mTORC2, including p70 S6K, 4E-BP1 and Akt. Ku0063794 was more effective than temsirolimus in decreasing the viability and growth of RCC cell lines, Caki-1 and 786-O, in vitro by inducing cell cycle arrest and autophagy, but not apoptosis. However, in a xenograft model there was no difference in the inhibition of tumor growth by Ku0063794 or temsirolimus. A potential explanation is that temsirolimus has additional effects on the tumor microenvironment. Consistent with this possibility, temsirolimus, but not Ku0063794, decreased tumor angiogenesis in vivo, and decreased the viability of HUVEC (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells) cells in vitro at pharmacologically relevant concentrations. Furthermore, expression levels of VEGF and PDGF were lower in Caki-1 and 786-O cells treated with temsirolimus than cells treated with Ku0063794.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mtor) has been shown to be an important target mechanism in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (rcc). In first-line treatment for patients with disease having poor prognostic features, temsirolimus, an mtor inhibitor approved for treatment of advanced rcc, has demonstrated benefit over interferon alfa in both overall and progression-free survival. Everolimus, a second mtor inhibitor that has showed activity in rcc, led to improved progression-free survival in a comparison with placebo in patients whose rcc progressed after treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (sunitinib, sorafenib, or both). There is now compelling clinical evidence for the effectiveness of targeting mtor in the treatment of rcc.
Temsirolimus; everolimus; sirolimus; mtor inhibitors; renal cell carcinoma; kidney cancer