In this paper, we review the use of serum tumor markers in risk assignment and response evaluation; the treatment of previously untreated and relapsing patients; the role of surgical resection of residual disease, including retroperitoneal node dissection; and the importance of clinical trials for addressing unanswered questions and testing new therapies.
Darren R. Feldman, MD
The Approach to the Patient With Synchronous Bilateral Germ Cell Tumors: A Lesson in Oncologic Prioritization
Hammerich et al. report a case of synchronous bilateral germ cell tumors (GCT) of different histologies occurring in a patient with a history of cryptorchidism. There are several interesting aspects of this case and the authors’ management and discussion that warrant commentary.
For the past 20 years, the systemic treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has been limited primarily to cytokines, with few patients showing benefit. However, recent advances in understanding the pathobiology of RCC have led to the identification of novel therapeutic targets for this disease. Drugs specifically designed to inhibit these targets have been developed, with several showing superior efficacy over traditional cytokine therapy. Moreover, these agents are well tolerated and have improved the span of progression-free, and in some cases, overall survival. As a result, between December 2005 and January 2006, two of these targeted therapiessunitinib (Sutent) and sorafenib (Nexavar)were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced RCC. The authors review the clinical trials that have focused on these two drugs as well as those concentrating on two other promising agents, bevacizumab (Avastin) and temsirolimus. The ways in which these novel drugs are changing the standard of care for metastatic RCC and the future directions of RCC clinical trials are also discussed.