Metastatic kidney cancer is, unfortunately, fairly common. As opposed to many other cancer types, many patients with RCC that's already spread to distant sites actually live longer by having their primary tumor in the kidney(s) surgically removed. However, the mainstay of treatment for patients with metastatic RCC is systemic. For many years, immunotherapy was the standard treatment. Interleukin-2 (IL2) and interferon alpha (IFN) were the two most common drugs.
Over the past few years, however, a revolution has occurred in the systemic management of metastatic RCC. Improvements in the understanding of molecular pathways by which RCC acts in the human body have led to the development of several new classes of medicines.