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 the CheckMate 9ER trial, patient-reported outcomes were analysed at baseline and every 6 weeks until week 115. Various questionnaires were used to assess disease-related symptoms and health status. Changes from baseline, such as time-to-deterioration, were analysed.

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.

Patient-reported outcomes were maintained or improved with nivolumab plus cabozantinib versus sunitinib. Compared with sunitinib, nivolumab plus cabozantinib significantly delayed time to deterioration. These results suggest a benefit for nivolumab plus cabozantinib compared with sunitinib in the treatment of patients with advanced RCC.

Read more in The Lancet Oncology here