The majority of kidney cancer (around 80%) is characterised as clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), while the remaining 20% is non-clear cell RCC. Most of these are papillary RCC, but non-clear cell RCC also includes collecting duct, translocation, chromophobe and a variety of other rare tumour types. Because non-clear cell RCC is relatively rare, data to help guide the treatment for these patients is lacking. Non-clear cell RCC patients tend to do worse than their clear cell counterparts when treated with targeted therapy, such as sunitinib.
The following interview with Dr Bradley McGregor, clinical director from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, USA, summarises current approaches to the treatment of non-clear cell RCC, specifically immunotherapy and combinations of immunotherapy and targeted therapy.