Deferred Cytoreductive Nephrectomy in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Bimal Bhindi, Jeffrey Graham, J. Connor Wells, Ziad Bakouny, Frede Donskov, Anna Fraccon, Felice Pasini, Jae Lyun Lee, Naveen S. Basappa, Aaron Hansen, Christian K. Kollmannsberger, Ravindran Kanesvaran, Takeshi Yuasa, D. Scott Ernst, Sandy Srinivas, Brian I. Rini, Isaac Bowman, Sumanta K. Pal, Toni K. Choueiri, Daniel Y.C. Heng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The use of cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) selectively for patients who show a favorable response to upfront systemic therapy may be an approach to select optimal candidates with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) who are most likely to benefit. Objective: We sought to characterize outcomes of deferred CN (dCN) after upfront sunitinib, outcomes relative to sunitinib alone, and outcomes of CN followed by sunitinib. Design, setting, and participants: We used the prospectively maintained International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) database to identify patients with newly diagnosed mRCC (2006–2018). Intervention: Sunitinib alone, upfront CN followed by sunitinib, sunitinib followed by dCN. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Outcomes were overall survival (OS) and time to sunitinib treatment failure (TTF). Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed; dCN was analyzed as a time-varying covariate to account for immortal time bias. Results and limitations: We evaluated 1541 patients, of whom 651 (42%) received sunitinib alone, 805 (52%) underwent CN followed by sunitinib, and 85 (5.5%) received sunitinib followed by dCN, at a median of 7.8 mo from diagnosis. Median OS periods for patients treated with sunitinib alone, CN followed by sunitinib, and sunitinib followed by dCN were 10, 19, and 46 mo, respectively, while the median TTF values were 4, 8, and 13 mo, respectively. In multivariable regression analyses, sunitinib followed by dCN was significantly associated with improved OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33–0.60, p < 0.001) and TTF (HR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.46–0.85, p = 0.003) versus sunitinib alone. Among CN-treated patients, sunitinib followed by dCN was associated with improved OS (HR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.39–0.70, p < 0.001) and TTF (HR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.56–0.90, p = 0.005) compared with upfront CN followed by sunitinib. In various sensitivity analyses, dCN remained significantly associated with improved OS and TTF. Conclusions: Patients who received dCN were carefully selected and achieved long OS. With these benchmark outcomes, optimal selection criteria need to be identified and confirmation of the role of dCN in a clinical trial is warranted. Patient summary: We characterized benchmark survival outcomes for patients with metastatic kidney cancer treated with sunitinib alone, nephrectomy (kidney removal) followed by sunitinib, and sunitinib followed by nephrectomy. Patients who had their nephrectomy after an initial course of sunitinib had prolonged survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-623
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Cytoreduction surgical procedures
  • Neoplasm metastasis
  • Nephrectomy
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Targeted therapy
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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