In this video interview, Dr Eric Jonasch from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas describes how to treat a kidney mass in patients with VHL disease.
VHL (von Hippel-Lindau) disease is very rare and affects about 1 in 35,000 people. Between 30 to 70% of people with VHL disease have kidney masses. If the mass is solid, it is assumed it is renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The standard of care for these patients is currently observation, with either a partial nephrectomy or ablation when the mass reaches about 3 cm in size. Some studies have looked at the use of anti-angiogenic drugs, like sunitinib and pazopanib, to try to shrink these tumours, with response rates of 33% with sunitinib and over 50% with pazopanib. However, these drugs aren’t tolerated very well and have the typical TKI-related side effects, which can be challenging for patients.