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A study published in European Urology this month looks at the use of immunotherapy combined with a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor as second-line treatment for metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The study investigates the safety and effectiveness of a combination of atezolizumab (immunotherapy) with bevacizumab (VEGF inhibitor) in the second line after treatment with atezolizumab or sunitinib has stopped working and the cancer has started growing again.
There were 103 patients who went on to have second-line treatment with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab. From these patients, tumours shrank in more than a quarter (27%) of patients and average time to when the treatment stopped working and the cancer started growing again (progression-free survival) was 8.7 months from the start of the second-line treatment. Most patients (83%) had side effects to the treatment, and around a third of patients (30%) had serious or life-threatening side effects.
This study shows that the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab combination was able to shrink tumours in patients with metastatic RCC whose cancer had progressed when on either atezolizumab or sunitinib. Side effects to treatment were manageable.