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Immunotherapy in advanced renal cell carcinoma

Where does it fit into the treatment paradigm?

This content collection provides the latest clinical trial news and expert commentary around the use of immunotherapy for treating advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). It is aimed at the RCC multidisciplinary care team, including oncologists, urologists, surgeons, and nurses.

Combination therapy

KEYNOTE-426 update ‘continues to support’ pembrolizumab plus axitinib

For patients with treatment-naïve advanced renal cell carcinoma, pembrolizumab plus axitinib offers superior overall survival to sunitinib, confirms an updated analysis from the KEYNOTE-426 trial.

With expert video commentary from Elizabeth Plimack

Second-line lenvatinib–pembrolizumab shows promise for metastatic ccRCC

Research suggests that patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma with disease progression after immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy may benefit from the combination of lenvatinib and pembrolizumab.

With expert video commentary from Chung-Han Lee

FRACTION-RCC suggests nivolumab–ipilimumab benefit for some ICI-treated RCC patients

Initial results from the trial suggest that some patients with advanced RCC may benefit from nivolumab plus ipilimumab after immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

With expert video commentary from Toni Choueiri

Single-agent immunotherapy


CheckMate 025: Superiority of nivolumab over everolimus confirmed in advanced RCC

The final 5-year analysis of the CheckMate 025 trial comprising patients with advanced RCC confirms the enhanced survival benefits of nivolumab versus everolimus.


KEYNOTE-427 updates confirm pembrolizumab benefit for advanced RCC

The latest findings from the KEYNOTE-427 trial add to the efficacy evidence for first-line pembrolizumab against advanced or metastatic RCC regardless of histology.


Immunotherapy de-escalation in advanced RCC not feasible yet

Results from two studies presented at ASCO 2020 suggest that using single-agent nivolumab followed by ipilimumab cannot be recommended for patients with advanced RCC.

Biomarkers of immunotherapy response


RCC studies identify biomarkers of PD-1 inhibitor outcomes

Analyses of the CheckMate 025 and KEYNOTE-427 trials of nivolumab and pembrolizumab, respectively, have identified biomarkers associated with response in patients with advanced RCC.

Researcher comment: Molecular correlates of nivolumab outcomes in RCC

Yann-Alexander Vano discusses the results of a translational analysis of the NIVOREN GETUG-AFU 26 trial (3:29).

Researcher comment: Characterizing molecular determinants of ICI response in sarcomatoid and rhabdoid RCC

Ziad Bakouny outlines his research investigating response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in sarcomatoid and rhabdoid renal cell carcinoma (4:14).

Neoadjuvant nivolumab tested for metastatic RCC

Results from the ADAPTeR study show the promise of nivolumab before and after cytoreductive nephrectomy or metastatic biopsy for treatment-naïve metastatic clear cell RCC. 

With expert video commentary from Guillermo de Velasco (6:07).


Researcher comment: Cytoreductive nephrectomy in the ICI era

Ziad Bakouny presents data on cytoreductive nephrectomy outcomes in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients treated with immunotherapy (immune checkpoint inhibitors) that suggest there may yet be a role for the procedure in certain patients (4:43).


At a glance: The IMmotion RCC trials

A quick-reference guide to the IMmotion trials evaluating the anti-PD-L1 agent atezolizumab for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma.

At a glance: The JAVELIN RCC trials

A quick-access guide to the JAVELIN trials of the anti-PD-L1 agent avelumab in the renal cell carcinoma setting.

At a glance: The KEYNOTE RCC trials

A quick-reference guide to the KEYNOTE clinical trials evaluating the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab in patients with renal cell carcinoma.

This independent content collection was supported by an educational grant from Pfizer and Merck KGaA.


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