Kidney Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Update on Systemic Treatments and Sequences in Metastatic Kidney Cancer

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019

According to an article published in European Urology Oncology, the double checkpoint blockade of ipilimumab and nivolumab seems to have the best data in terms of survival benefit in intermediate- and poor-risk patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (classified by the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium model). Guillermo de Velasco, MD, PhD, of Hospital Universito 12 de Octubre in Madrid, collaborated with colleagues to complete this comprehensive review.

“Combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors has shown to increase the overall survival in treatment-naive [metastatic renal cell carcinoma] patients,” concluded the authors.

The team compiled information regarding treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma from PubMed and abstracts from main conferences published up to December 2018. They used search terms including renal cell carcinoma, systemic therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy to determine the best systemic treatment of metastatic renal cancer.

According to the authors, treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma has had several advancements with novel VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitors as well as immune checkpoint inhibitors. Although multiple drugs and sequences are now accepted as effective treatment, using two checkpoint inhibitors together may increase survival. For example, the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab produced a median progression-free survival of 11.6 months, compared with 8.4 months with sunitinib, in one trial.

“In the immediate future, more consolidated data on the combination of VEGF-targeted therapies plus immune checkpoint inhibitors may show similar robust benefits with different safety profiles,” added the authors.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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