Kidney Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

IKCS 2019: Treatment-Free Survival With Immunotherapy Versus Sunitinib in Kidney Cancer

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Patients with renal cell carcinoma not only had longer survival, but also experienced longer treatment-free survival without toxicity when they received nivolumab and ipilimumab compared with sunitinib, based on data from the CheckMate 214 trial. Meredith M. Regan, ScD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, presented research she completed with colleagues highlighting the impact of immunotherapy in this patient population at the 2019 International Kidney Cancer Symposium (IKCS) in Miami.

A total of 1,082 patients were enrolled in this randomized phase III trial, which compared nivolumab plus ipilimumab to sunitinib in patients with treatment-naive renal cell carcinoma. Treatment-free survival was calculated using the time to cessation of protocol therapy and the time to subsequent therapy or death. The group defined toxicity as any grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events.

At 36 months’ follow-up, 60% of the 547 patients receiving nivolumab plus ipilimumab were alive, versus 51% of the 535 patients receiving sunitinib. Approximately 15% of patients who were assigned nivolumab and ipilimumab and 9% of patients who were assigned sunitinib remained on their original therapy. In addition, 34% of patients receiving combination therapy and 19% of patients receiving monotherapy were free of subsequent therapy. The 36-month treatment-free survivals were 6.7 months and 2.9 months for all patients taking nivolumab and ipilimumab versus sunitinib, and the treatment-free survivals without toxicity were 6.4 months and 2.8 months, respectively.

“Given the durability of immun[o]-oncology responses relative to sunitinib after treatment cessation, it will be of interest to measure treatment-free survival over time,” proposed the investigators.

Disclosure: The full disclosures of the study authors can be found at

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