The role of surgery in clinical management of patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma

Thomas Steiner*, Hartmut Kirchner, Michael Siebels, Christian Doehn, Hans Heynemann, Zoltan Varga, Detlef Rohde, Joerg Schubert, Dieter Jocham, Christian Stief, Paolo Fornara, Rainer Hofmann, Stefan Loening, Jan Roigas

*Corresponding author for this work
5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) show special clinical behavior compared to patients with other histologic subtypes of RCC. This study aimed to assess the relevance of surgical and systemic options used in treatment of these patients prior to the recent era of targeted therapies. Methods Retrospectively, we assessed clinical data of 61 patients with metastatic papillary RCC who were treated at eight centers in Germany. Results Median follow-up was 20 (range 1-114) months and median age at time of diagnosis was 62 (range 24-85) years. Men were affected predominantly (50/61; 82%). Twenty-one patients (34%) showed metastases at time of diagnosis. In the remaining 40 patients, median time to development of metastases was 30.4 (range 3-143; mean 16.5) months. Sites of metastases were lung (37; 61%), bone (24; 38%), liver (20; 33%), lymph nodes (24; 38%), and local recurrence (17; 28%). Others sites of disease were brain metastases (6 patients/10%), peritoneal carcinosis (5 patients/8%), and others. A surgical approach with potentially curative intention was performed primarily in 11 patients (18%). 31 patients received an immuno-(interferon-α ± interleukin-2) or immunochemotherapy as first line treatment for metastatic disease. Overall, 42/61 patients (69%) received systemic therapy. Supportive care only was performed in 12 patients (20%) because of poor performance status. Median overall survival after diagnosis of metastatic disease was longer than 48 months in patients with tumor resection (n = 11) compared to 13.0 ± 4.3 months 95% CI 4.5-21.5 (n = 42) months in patients without surgical approach. Conclusions Complete resection of metastases represents a valid option in management of patients with relapsing or metastatic papillary RCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)905-910
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2010


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