Targeting metabolic pathways in kidney cancer: Rationale and therapeutic opportunities

Christian R. Hoerner, Susanna Y. Miao, James J. Hsieh, Alice C. Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Alterations in cellular sugar, amino acid and nucleic acid, and lipid metabolism, as well as in mitochondrial function, are a hallmark of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The activation of oncogenes such as hypoxia-inducible factor and loss of the von Hippel-Lindau function and other tumor suppressors frequently occur early on during tumorigenesis and are the drivers for these changes, collectively known as "metabolic reprogramming,"which promotes cellular growth, proliferation, and stress resilience. However, tumor cells can become addicted to reprogrammed metabolism. Here, we review the current knowledge of metabolic addictions in clear cell RCC, the most common form of RCC, and to what extent this has created therapeutic opportunities to interfere with such altered metabolic pathways to selectively target tumor cells. We highlight preclinical and emerging clinical data on novel therapeutics targeting metabolic traits in clear cell RCC to provide a comprehensive overview on current strategies to exploit metabolic reprogramming clinically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Journal (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Arginine
  • HIF
  • glucose
  • glutamine
  • lipid metabolism
  • mTOR
  • metabolic reprogramming
  • metabolism
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • targeted therapy
  • tryptophan


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