Back to Journals » OncoTargets and Therapy » Volume 7

PD-1 as an emerging therapeutic target in renal cell carcinoma: current evidence

Authors Tykodi S

Received 10 March 2014

Accepted for publication 13 May 2014

Published 25 July 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 1349—1359


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 7

Scott S Tykodi

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Abstract: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common primary malignant tumor of the kidney in adults, representing approximately 4% of all adult cancers in the United States. Metastatic RCC is poorly responsive to conventional cytotoxic chemotherapies but can be sensitive to T-cell-directed immunotherapies such as interferon-α or interleukin-2. Despite recent progress in the application of antiangiogenic “targeted therapies” for metastatic RCC, high-dose interleukin-2 remains an appropriate first-line therapy for select patients and is associated with durable complete remissions in a small fraction of treated patients. Thus, advanced RCC provides a unique opportunity to investigate the requirements for effective antitumor immunotherapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that resistance mechanisms exploited by RCC and other tumor types may play a dominant role in limiting the effectiveness of tumor-reactive adaptive immune responses. Expression of the inhibitory coreceptor programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes within RCC tumors, as well as the expression of the PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) on RCC tumor cells, are strong negative prognostic markers for disease-specific death in RCC patients. Monoclonal antibodies targeting either PD-1 or PD-L1 have now entered clinic trials and have demonstrated promising antitumor effects for refractory metastatic RCC. This review summarizes the results of published and reported studies of PD-1- and PD-L1-targeted therapies enrolling patients with advanced RCC, focusing on key safety, toxicity, and efficacy end points. Prospects for advanced phase clinical testing and novel therapy combinations with PD-1- and PD-L1-targeted agents are discussed.

Keywords: renal cell carcinoma, immune checkpoint, immunotherapy, T-lymphocyte, PD-1, PD-L1

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]