Locally advanced and metastatic RCC present a specific set of challenges to the radiologist that may affect the detection of disease, assessment of disease response, and recognition of imaging findings related to drug toxicity. Locally advanced and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) present a specific set of challenges to the radiologist. The detection of metastatic disease is confounded by the ability of RCC to metastasize to virtually any part of the human body long after surgical resection of the primary tumor. This includes sites not commonly included in routine surveillance, which come to light after the patient becomes symptomatic. In the assessment of treatment response, the phenomenon of tumor heterogeneity, where clone selection through systemic therapy drives the growth of potentially more aggressive phenotypes, can result in oligoprogression despite overall disease control. Finally, advances in therapy have resulted in the development of immuno-oncologic agents that may result in changes that are not adequately evaluated with conventional size-based response criteria and may even be misinterpreted as progression. This article reviews the common challenges a radiologist may encounter in the evaluation of patients with locally advanced and metastatic RCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging