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Ongoing results from the phase 3 CheckMate-9ER clinical trial with nivolumab plus cabozantinib have been published in The Lancet Oncology this week. Previous trial results have shown that the nivolumab/cabozantinib combination doubled the average time to when the treatment stopped working and the cancer started growing again (progression-free survival) compared to sunitinib and nearly twice as many previously untreated renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients responded to the combination.
In this study, 323 patients were randomly given nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 328 were given sunitinib, and follow-up for an average of 23·5 months. At baseline, patients in both groups reported low disease-related symptoms. Change from baseline in patient-reported outcomes scores indicated that nivolumab plus cabozantinib had more favourable outcomes than sunitinib. There was also a decrease in risk of clinically meaningful deterioration with nivolumab plus cabozantinib compared with sunitinib.