RCC101: Risk of progression for RCC

When treating advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), it is important for doctors to know their patient’s risk of disease progression.1,2

The risk of disease progression helps doctors gauge how the condition will evolve over time, and is one of the first steps in finding the right treatment for his or her patient. Clinical trials may also use this as one of their eligibility criteria.1,2

To estimate the risk of disease progression, doctors may use the Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) risk score, which outlines the following five risk factors:1

  1. Time from diagnosis of <1 year
  2. Unable to work, or unable to care for self (Karnofsky performance status <80%)
  3. Low hemoglobin (less than the lower limit of normal)
  4. Too much calcium in the blood (higher than the upper limit of normal)
  5. Too much LDH in the blood (higher than 1.5-times the upper limit of normal)

Having fewer risk factors translates to a more favourable prognosis.

MSKCC Risk Score

 Number of risk factors  Risk
None Low risk with good prognosis
1-2 Intermediate risk
3-5 Poor risk

To learn more:


References: 1. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN guidelines: Kidney cancer version 3.2016. Available at: https://www.nccn.org. Accessed on August 11, 2016. 2. Escudier B, et al. Ann Oncol 2014;25(Suppl 3):iii49-iii56.

Last updated: September 17, 2016.
Photo adapted from original by Alex Proimos, used under license.

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