Update in Systemic Therapy of Urologic Malignancies

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David Mooney, MD; Ravikumar Paluri, MD, MPH; Amitkumar Mehta, MD; Jatinder Goyal, MD; Guru Sonpavde, MD

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Postgraduate Medicine:

Volume 126 No. 1


Clinical Focus

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DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2014.01.2724
Abstract: Systemic therapy of advanced prostate and renal cancers has gained several recent additions to the therapeutic armamentarium. Treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer now includes additional immunotherapy (sipuleucel-T), chemotherapy (cabazitaxel), androgen-signaling inhibitors (abiraterone acetate, enzalutamide), and a radiopharmaceutical (alpharadin), based on extension of patient survival. Similarly, therapy for patients with renal cell carcinoma, a chemoresistant malignancy, has undergone dramatic changes based on an understanding of the role of angiogenesis. Multiple vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (sorafenib, sunitinib, pazopanib, axitinib, bevacizumab) and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (temsirolimus, everolimus) have been added to the therapeutic arsenal. Additionally, immunotherapy retains an important treatment role, with a continuing application of high-dose interleukin-2 in select patients and the emergence of novel immunotherapeutic agents that may have significant benefit. Other major urologic malignancies, including urothelial, testicular, and penile cancers, have witnessed relatively few or no recent advances in therapy, although testicular germ cell tumors are one of the most curable malignancies. An agent for treatment of advanced urothelial cancer now has commercial approval, the chemotherapeutic agent, vinflunine, as second-line therapy in multiple countries—but not in the United States. Our review summarizes and updates the field of systemic therapy for advanced urologic malignancies, with a focus on castration-resistant prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

Keywords: systemic therapy; prostate cancer; renal cell carcinoma; urothelial cancer; immunotherapy; anti-androgen therapy