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Nivolumab in Non–Clear Cell Kidney Cancer

By: Meg Barbor, MPH
Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

In a heterogeneous population of patients with non–clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma, nivolumab was well tolerated and yielded objective responses, according to a study presented by Vadim S. Koshkin, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, at the 2017 International Kidney Cancer Symposium in Miami. Although nivolumab is approved for treatment of patients with resistant metastatic renal cell carcinoma, its clinical activity in patients with non–clear cell renal cell carcinoma subtypes has been largely unexplored.

The researchers identified 41 patients from 6 centers in the United States who received at least a single dose of nivolumab for non–clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma between December 2015 and June 2017. Among 35 evaluated patients for objective response, 7 (20%) had a partial response, and 10 (29%) had stable disease. With a median duration of follow-up of 8.5 months, median progression-free survival was 3.5 months, and median overall survival had not been reached.

In terms of safety, treatment-related adverse events of any grade were observed in 37% of patients, with the most common side effects being fatigue, fever, rash/skin toxicity, and hypothyroidism. Moreover, after receipt of nivolumab, 67% of patients were able to receive subsequent systemic treatment.

“In the absence of available prospective data, this analysis lends support to the use of nivolumab in patients with non–clear cell renal cell carcinoma,” Dr. Koshkin concluded.