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Ipilimumab Plus Nivolumab Combination Therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A new combination therapy for renal cell carcinoma, developed by Hans J. Hammers, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, shows potential to provide lasting, effective results for patients with kidney cancer. This multicenter trial, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, combined two immunotherapies, ipilimumab with nivolumab. The findings of this trial have set the stage for a phase III trial, which has completed patient enrollment.

In a pool of nearly 100 patients, the results of the combination therapy showed a doubling of response rates, from approximately 20% in previous studies of varying doses of nivolumab monotherapy to 40%. In a press release, Dr. Hammers stated: “For this group of patients, these are very significant results.”

Three different dose regimens of these agents were assessed. At a median follow-up of 22.3 months, in those who received 3 mg/kg of nivolumab plus 1 mg/kg of ipilimumab (N3I1) as well as those who received 1 mg/kg of nivolumab plus 3 mg/kg of ipilimumab (N1I3), the confirmed objective response rate was 40.4%, with ongoing responses in 42.1 and 36.8% of patients in the N3I1 and N1I3 groups, respectively.

Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events were reported in 38.3% of those in the N3I1 group and 61.7% in the N1I3 group. Skin, endocrine, and gastrointestinal treatment-related adverse events were the most common in both groups.