Outcome and prognosis of metastatic sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma (sRCC) in the targeted therapy era are not well described. In this retrospective series of 230 patients with metastatic sRCC, we examined the role of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents as a treatment option. The validity of the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) prognostic model in patients with metastatic sRCC was confirmed. Sarcomatoid histology was found to be an independent factor for adverse prognosis.
Sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma is associated with poor prognosis. Data regarding outcome in the targeted therapy era are lacking.
Patients and Methods
Clinical, prognostic, and treatment parameters in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients with and without sarcomatoid histology treated with targeted therapy were retrospectively analyzed.
Two thousand two hundred eighty-six patients were identified (sRCC: n = 230 and non-sRCC: n = 2056). sRCC patients had significantly worse IMDC prognostic criteria compared with non-sRCC (11% vs. 19% favorable risk; 49% vs. 57% intermediate risk, and 40% vs. 24% poor risk;P < .0001). Time from original diagnosis to relapse (excluding synchronous metastatic disease) was shorter in the sRCC group (18.8 vs. 42.9 months;P < .0001). There was no significant difference in the incidence of central nervous system metastases (6%-8%) or underlying clear cell histology (87%-88%). More than 93% of patients received VEGF inhibitors as first-line therapy; objective response was less common in sRCC whereas primary refractory disease was more common (21% vs. 26% and 43% vs. 21%;P < .0001, for both). sRCC patients had significantly less use of second- (P = .018) and third-line (P < .0001) systemic therapy. The median progression-free survival (PFS)/overall survival (OS) was 4.5/10.4 months in sRCC patients and 7.8/22.5 months in non-sRCC patients (P < .0001 for both). Sarcomatoid histology was associated with a significantly worse PFS and OS after adjusting for individual IMDC risk factors in multivariable analysis (hazard ratio, 1.5;P < .0001 for both).
Patients with sRCC have a shorter time to relapse, worse baseline prognostic criteria, and worse clinical outcome with targeted therapy. Additional insight into the biology of sRCC is needed to develop alternative therapeutics.