Non-Immunotherapy Interventions May Successfully Target Renal Cell Carcinoma


A better understanding of tumor biology may be necessary for identifying novel non-immunotherapy–based therapeutic strategies for patients with renal cell carcinoma, according to Rana R. McKay, MD.

In an interview with CancerNetwork® at the 2023 Kidney Cancer Research Summit (KCRS), Rana R. McKay, MD, highlighted how non-immunotherapy–based treatments may provide benefit in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) by targeting the tumor, tumor microenvironment, and angiogenesis.

Although there is excitement in the field with regard to these agents, McKay, a board-certified medical oncologist and associate professor in the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Diego Health, emphasized the importance of finding new targets and researching tumor biology further to optimize patient outcomes. Additionally, she stated that the formation of partnerships with industry colleagues may help provide access to treatment with new agents among those with RCC.


There are a lot of novel therapies that are being developed for [RCC]. Specifically, my presentation focused on the novel, non-immunotherapy-based strategies. There are a couple of ways that we can continue to target the tumor and tumor microenvironment within renal cell carcinoma. We can continue to target the angiogenic axis, [as well as] target the tumor through direct cell killing through various agents that induce cell death, whether it be chemotherapy, radioligand therapy, or leveraging the concept of synthetic lethality to induce tumor kill. And then there are other targets that are worthy of exploration and other mechanisms of action that fall into a “grab bag” of other potential therapeutic strategies.

There’s been a lot of excitement around the new agents that are on the horizon, but quite honestly, we need more targets. We need a better understanding of the tumor biology to be able to identify additional therapeutic strategies and need additional drugs to ultimately enter the clinic and lead to improved outcomes for patients.

There are a lot of drugs that are continuing to be tested in renal cell carcinoma. There are novel delivery mechanisms that are now being tested. There are new targets that are being explored. But we need more innovation in this space, quite honestly. Hopefully, through partnership with our industry colleagues and others, we can work together to help bring new drugs and new agents into the clinic.


McKay RR. Novel therapies. Presented at: 2023 Kidney Cancer Research Summit; July 13-14, 2023; Boston, MA.

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