A prospective phase I dose-escalation trial of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) as an alternative to cytoreductive nephrectomy for inoperable patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Background: Cytoreductive nephrectomy is thought to improve survival in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). As many patients are ineligible for major surgery, we hypothesized that SABR could be a safe alternative. Methods: In this dose-escalation trial, inoperable mRCC patients underwent SABR targeting the entire affected kidney. Toxicity (CTCAE v3.0), quality of life (QoL), renal function, and tumour response (RECIST v1.0) were assessed. Results: Twelve patients of mostly intermediate (67%) or poor (25%) International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) prognostic class, median KPS of 70%, and median tumour size of 8.7 cm (range: 4.8-13.8) were enrolled in successive dose cohorts of 25 (n = 3), 30 (n = 6), and 35 Gy (n = 3) in 5 fractions. SABR was well tolerated with 3 grade 3 events: fatigue (2) and bone pain (1). QoL decreased for physical well-being (p = 0.016), but remained unchanged in other domains. SABR achieved a median tumour size reduction of - 17.3% (range: + 5.3 to - 54.4) at 5.3 months. All patients progressed systemically and median OS was 6.7 months. Crude median follow-up was 5.8 months. Conclusions: In non-operable mRCC patients, renal-ablative SABR to 35 Gy in 5 fractions yielded acceptable toxicity, renal function preservation, and stable QoL. SABR merits further prospective investigation as an alternative to cytoreductive nephrectomy.