A retrospective study has proven the effectiveness and tolerability of nivolumab in patients with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and supports the use of nivolumab in patients with these rare forms of kidney cancer.

Dr Koshkin and colleagues, from the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute in the USA, retrospectively analysed data from 41 patients with histologically confirmed metastatic non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma who received at least one dose of nivolumab between December 2015 and June 2017.

Patients received a median of seven (range, 1-28) doses of nivolumab, and median treatment duration was 3 months (range, 0-13.1). After a median follow-up of 8.5 months (range, 0.6-18.4), median overall survival had not been reached and median progression-free survival was 3.5 months. An analysis of 35 evaluable patients showed seven (20%) achieved objective response; all were partial responses. Ten patients (29%) achieved stable disease. Among responders, median time to best response was 5.1 months (range, 1.2-13.3) and median duration of response had not been reached. Fifteen patients (37%) experienced treatment-related adverse events.

These data were presented at the International Kidney Cancer Symposium in Miami, USA last week, and are an update of the data presented 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in June this year.

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