Results from the ADAPTeR study to evaluate the role of anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitors before and after surgery in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference in Barcelona over the weekend.

ADAPTeR is a single centre study in which metastatic RCC patients were treated with nivolumab both before and after nephrectomy until the cancer started to progress. Tumour biopsies were obtained at baseline, on-treatment (week 9) and at progressive disease. Biomarkers of response to nivolumab were assessed using sequencing and evaluation of the immune cells (lymphocytes) within the tumour.

In conclusion:

  • This is the first study of a neoadjuvant immune checkpoint inhibitor (nivolumab) to analyse biomarkers of response
  • Patients who responded to nivolumab had a distinct baseline immune gene expression signature compared with non-responders
  • Patients who derived long-term benefit from nivolumab had lymphocytes infiltrating their tumour while on treatment
  • Analyses of T-cells and immune cell infiltration into tumours are ongoing, as well as genomic analyses.

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