Further follow-up data from the phase 3 CLEAR study with lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab for advanced kidney cancer were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, USA this week. In the study, lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab significantly improved the time to when the cancer started growing again and overall survival time compared to sunitinib when give as the first anti-cancer medication. After 4 years of follow-up, this survival benefit with the combination was maintained. The average time to when the cancer started growing again was nearly 2 years with the combination, compared to just over 9 months for sunitinib. This improvement in survival was seen in patients with poor, intermediate, and favourable risk kidney cancer.

Patients responded better to lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab, with more than 70% having a response to treatment, double that seen with sunitinib. Fewer patients taking the combination treatment had further anti-cancer treatment.

Nearly three quarters of patients on the lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab combination had serious or life-threatening side effects compared to 60% of patients on sunitinib.

This study showed that the improved survival with the combination of lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab in previously untreated advanced kidney cancer patients was maintained during the four-year follow-up.

Read more in Urology Times here