Metastatic renal cell carcinoma imaging evaluation in the era of anti-angiogenic therapies.

Academic Article


  • During the last decade, the arsenal of anti-angiogenic (AAG) agents used to treat metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has grown and revolutionized the treatment of metastatic RCC, leading to improved overall survival compared to conventional chemotherapy and traditional immunotherapy agents. AAG agents include inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signaling pathways and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors. Both of these classes of targeted agents are considered cytostatic rather than cytotoxic, inducing tumor stabilization rather than marked tumor shrinkage. As a result, decreases in tumor size alone are often minimal and/or occur late in the course of successful AAG therapy, while tumor devascularization is a distinct feature of AAG therapy. In successful AAG therapy, tumor devascularization manifests on computed tomography images as a composite of a decrease in tumor size, a decrease in tumor attenuation, and the development of tumor necrosis. In this article, we review Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST)-the current standard of care for tumor treatment response assessment which is based merely on changes in tumor length-and its assessment of metastatic RCC tumor response in the era of AAG therapies. We then review the features of an ideal tumor imaging biomarker for predicting metastatic RCC response to a particular AAG agent and serving as a longitudinal tumor response assessment tool. Finally, a discussion of the more recently proposed imaging response criteria and new imaging trends in metastatic RCC response assessment will be reviewed.
  • Published In


  • Anti-angiogenic therapy, Imaging biomarker, Metastatic renal cell carcinoma, Tumor response, Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Carcinoma, Renal Cell, Humans, Kidney Neoplasms, Neoplasm Metastasis, Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sirous R; Henegan JC; Zhang X; Howard CM; Souza F; Smith AD
  • Start Page

  • 1086
  • End Page

  • 1099
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 6