Immune Checkpoint Inhibition Could Be the Future of Renal Cell Carcinoma Treatment


The landscape for patients with renal cell carcinoma could potentially change as the use of immune checkpoint inhibition shows promise for these patients.

The future of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment may move from VEGF-targeted therapies and rely more heavily on immune checkpoint inhibition, according to Dr. Thomas Powles.

At the 2020 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, CURE®’s sister publication OncLive spoke with Powles, a medical oncologist and director of Barts Cancer Institute in the United Kingdom, about the shift from anti-tumor VEGF-targeted therapy to immunotherapies instead.

Here, he discusses the COSMIC-313 trial he and his colleagues are currently working on, examining the combination of Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab) plus Cabometyx (cabozantinib) in patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic RCC.


Looking into the future, there’s a study called COSMIC-313, and the control arm is ipilimumab and nivolumab. We have done a lot of work on the development of VEGF-targeted therapies and it’s been really successful, but I think we’ve moved on now from VEGF-targeted therapy as monotherapy in frontline renal cancer.

I think we’ve now moved on to a backbone of immune checkpoint inhibition, and COSMIC-313 has nivolumab plus ipilimumab as the control arm, against ipilimumab/nivolumab plus cabozantinib. I hope (these results are) going to be positive because it’s bringing everything together and making sure that there aren’t any patients who aren’t getting the three active targets that we know are really important in this disease.

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