Data from the CheckMate-920 study on the safety and effectiveness of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with advanced non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (nccRCC) was presented at the virtual American Society for Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (ASCO GU) in San Francisco this weekend.

CheckMate-920 is a community-based, phase IIIb/IV clinical trial of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in previously untreated patients with advanced nccRCC. Patients were treated with the combination for up to 2 years or until their cancer progressed or they were not able to tolerate the treatment. Fifty-two (52) patients were treated and 28.8% had sarcomatoid RCC. The RCC subtypes were papillary (34.6%), chromophobe (13.5%), translocation associated (3.8%), collecting duct (3.8%), renal medullary (1.9%), or unclassified (42.3%). Rate of cancer shrinkage (response rate) was 19.6%. Two patients had a complete response to treatment and 7 had a partial response. Seventeen (17) patients had stable disease. The treatment time until the tumours start growing again (progression-free survival) was 3.7 months and overall survival time was 21.2 months. Fifty-two (52) patients reported serious or life-threatening side effects, diarrhoea/colitis (7.7%) and rash (5.8%) being the most frequent.

The combination of nivolumab plus ipilimumab was tolerable and showed encouraging effectiveness in patients with previously untreated nccRCC, a patient population with poor prognosis and an unmet need for effective treatment.