HomeAnswersInternal Medicinerenal cell carcinomaMy brother is who is 55 years old, has been diagnosed with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Please help.

How is metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma managed?


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Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At December 3, 2023
Reviewed AtDecember 3, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My brother, who is 55 years old, has been diagnosed with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Please help.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Chung-Han Lee


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. This is a case of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) status post right radical nephrectomy performed eight years ago, with a recent late recurrence of the disease. Metastases have been observed in multiple sites, including the bones, muscles, and pancreas, following radiation therapy (RT) to these known metastatic sites. The patient's most recent imaging before the recent metastatic diagnosis was conducted four years ago. It remains unclear whether the disease's growth has been steadily progressing over the last four years or if there has been a sudden increase in aggressiveness.

Given the patient's history of RT to all known sites of metastatic disease, we can assume that these sites have been effectively treated. However, the patient presents with multiple metastatic lesions and a high likelihood of micrometastatic disease. While Pembrolizumab monotherapy, an antibody used in cancer treatment, is an option, the overall survival benefit is only modest and based on limited events. In this context, it would be reasonable to continue monitoring the patient's progress to assess the extent of benefit derived from treating all radiographically evident sites of disease and to determine if a significant disease-free interval can be achieved.

I suggest that if the patient achieves a disease-free interval of more than 12 months, we may consider local therapy once again. However, if the disease-free interval falls below three to six months, initiating a tyrosine kinase inhibitor/immunotherapy (TKI/IO) regimen should be considered. In such a scenario, options like Lenvatinib, Pembrolizumab, Cabozantinib, or Nivolumab would all be reasonable choices. The treatment should commence at a full dose, with plans for rapid dose reduction as needed for the management of potential toxicity.

I hope this helps you.

Thank you.


Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

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Dr. Chung-Han Lee

Medical Oncologist

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