In this retrospective international study, the effectiveness of targeted therapy following discontinuation of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the real world was investigated.

There were 314 patients in the study; 276 (87.9%) were treated with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGFR-TKIs), such as sunitinib, axitinib and cabozantinib, and 38 (12.1%) were treated with mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (mTORIs), such as everolimus. The probability of surviving one year or more and objective response rate were significantly greater for patients treated with VEGFR-TKIs versus those treated with mTORIs.

This study showed that targeted therapy has clinical activity following immunotherapy with a checkpoint inhibitor and patients may continue to experience clinical benefits from targeted therapies after progression on immunotherapy.

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