The cabozantinib/nivolumab combination has been shown to be effective at improving survival in patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in a phase 3 trial. This study, presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting held virtually over the weekend reports the results of a phase 2 trial of cabozantinib/nivolumab in patients with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
A total of 47 patients with advanced non-clear cell RCC and who had received 0 or 1 prior medications (excluding prior immune checkpoint inhibitors) were included in the study in two groups. Group 1 were patients with papillary, unclassified, or translocation associated RCC, and group 2 were patients with chromophobe RCC. All patients were treated with the cabozantinib/nivolumab combination and followed for just over a year. Most patients (65%) were previously untreated, and the remaining patients had one prior treatment. The cancer got smaller in 48% of patients in group 1. Time to when the treatment stopped working and the cancer started growing again was 12.5 months and the average overall survival time was 28 months. There were no responses to treatment in the patients with chromophobe RCC (group 2). Side effects were consistent with those reported in the phase 3 trial.
The cabozantinib/nivolumab combination treatment had an acceptable safety profile and showed promising efficacy in metastatic non-clear cell RCC patients with papillary, unclassified, or translocation subtypes, but activity in patients with chromophobe RCC was limited.