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Efficacy of temsirolimus in metastatic chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

Balaji Venugopal1*, Jawaher Ansari1, Michael Aitchison12, Lye Mun Tho12, Roderick Campbell3 and Rob J Jones12

Author Affiliations

1 Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, 1053, Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 0YN, UK

2 Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK

3 Monklands Hospital, Monkscourt Avenue, Airdrie, ML6 0JS, UK

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BMC Urology 2013, 13:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-26

Published: 21 May 2013



Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a histopathologically and molecularly heterogeneous disease with the chromophobe subtype (chRCC) accounting for approximately 5% of all cases. The median overall survival of advanced RCC has improved significantly since the advent of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors. However, high-quality evidence for the use of new generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with advanced chRCC is lacking. Few published case reports have highlighted the use of temsirolimus in chRCC.

Case presentation

Here, we report the case of a 36-year-old Caucasian woman with metastatic chRCC with predominantly skeletal metastases who was refractory to sunitinib who demonstrated a durable clinical response to temsirolimus lasting 20 months. We review the available evidence pertaining to the use of new generation molecularly targeted agents, in particular mTOR inhibitors in chRCC and discuss their emerging role in the management of this disease which would aid the oncologists faced with the challenge of treating this rare type of RCC.


Conducting randomised clinical trials in this rarer sub-group of patients would be challenging and our case report and the evidence reviewed would guide the physicians to make informed decision regarding the management of these patients.

Temsirolimus; Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma; Renal cell cancer