A recent post hoc analysis of the CheckMate 214 trial looked at the nivolumab plus ipilimumab combination in 108 patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who had not had surgery to remove their cancer (nephrectomy).

Patients were randomised to nivolumab plus ipilimumab every 3 weeks followed by nivolumab alone (53 patients) or sunitinib every day (55 patients). The majority of patients (98%) had intermediate- or poor-risk RCC.

After 4 years of follow-up, the patients on the nivolumab plus ipilimumab combination had a longer overall survival time of 26.1 months compared to 14.3 months for sunitinib. For more patients in the nivolumab plus ipilimumab combination group, their cancer responded to treatment by shrinking (34% versus 15%), and they had a longer duration of response (20.5 versus 14.1 months).

In conclusion, the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab is superior to sunitinib in patients with advanced RCC who have not had a prior nephrectomy.

Read more in Practice Update here