Kidney Cancer Treatment Options

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Have you been diagnosed with metastatic or advanced kidney cancer? The U.S. FDA has approved 12 therapies for the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer and one adjuvant therapy for high-risk localized kidney cancer following surgery. The following chart lists each kidney cancer treatment, including the brand name, the generic name, how the drug works to fight your cancer and how it is routinely prescribed. If you’ve been diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer – know your options!

Brand NameGeneric NameHow it worksDrug CompanyFDA approvalMainly used
Yervoy/OpdivoIpilimumab/NivolumabImmunotherapy: Anti-CTLA4 Inhibitor/Anti-PD1 Checkpoint inhibitor
Infusion
Bristol Myers Squibb 2018 approval for first line immediate and high risk metastatic RCC patients1st line
CabometyxCabozantinibTargeted Therapy: TKI, VEGF and c-MET inhibitor
Oral medication
Exelixis2016 approval for metastatic RCC after prior therapy; 2017 approval for first line metastatic RCC.1st line for intermediate and poor risk and 2nd line
SutentSunitinibTargeted Therapy:
Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) or VEGF inhibitor
Oral medication
Pfizer2006 approval for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC); 2017 approval for RCC at high risk of recurrence1st line and as adjuvant treatment.
VotrientPazopanibTargeted Therapy: TKI, VEGF inhibitor
Oral medication
Novartis2012 approval for metastatic RCC1st line
OpdivoNivolumabImmunotherapy: Anti-PD1
Checkpoint-Inhibitor infusion
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)2015 approval for metastatic RCC patients following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy2nd or later line
Lenvima/AfinitorLenvatinib/
Everoliumus
Targeted Therapy: TKI, VEGF inhibitor + m-TOR inhibitor
Oral medication
Eisai2016 approval for metastatic RCC patients following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy2nd or later line
InlytaAxitinibTargeted Therapy: TKI, VEGF inhibitor
Oral medication
Pfizer2012 approval for metastatic RCC after failure of one prior systemic therapy2nd or later line
ProleukinAldesleukin (also known as high-dose Interleukin-2 IL-2, HDIL-2)Immunotherapy Inpatient InfusionPrometheus1992 approval for metastatic RCC1st line, remains a treatment option with curative potential in selected patients
Avastin/ Interferon (IFN)Bevacizumab /Interferon alfaVEGF-Antibody + immunotherapy Infusion/ subcutaneous injectionGenentech2009 approval for metastatic RCC1st line approval, rarely used given limited efficacy and IFN side effects
NexavarSorafenibTargeted Therapy: TKI, VEGF inhibitor
Oral medication
Bayer2005 approval for metastatic RCCLate line
AfinitorEverolimusTargeted Therapy: mTOR-Inhibitor
Oral medication
Novartis2009 approval for metastatic RCC after failure of treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib2nd or later line, now
primarily in combination with Lenvima
ToriselTemsirolimusTargeted Therapy: mTOR-Inhibitor InfusionPfizer2007 approval for metastatic RCCApproved for poor risk 1st line for select patients; but now rarely used given alternatives

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