This study looked at the use of pegilodecakin alone or in combination with immunotherapy or targeted therapy for the treatment of people with advanced solid tumours. Pegilodecakin is a form of cytokine called interleukin-10. The interleukin-10 is attached to a substance called polyethylene glycol (PEG) to improve how the drug works to unleash the immune system to kill cancer cells.

In this phase Ib study, 353 patients with advanced solid tumours were treated with pegilodecakin alone or in combination with pazopanib, pembrolizumab or nivolumab. Of these 353 patients, 66 had advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The pegilodecakin was self-administered using a needle under the skin every day. Most patients had intermediate-risk cancer and the number of previous treatments ranged from 1-3 , with most patients receiving two or more prior therapies. The cancer shrank in 43% of patients on the combination with immunotherapy (nivolumab or pembrolizumab). For the combination with pazopanib and pegilodecakin on its own, 33% and 20% had shrinkage of their cancer, respectively.

The most common side effects with pegilodecakin were anaemia (low red blood cells) and thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets or clotting factors).

In this study, pegilodecakin plus immunotherapy showed promising activity in heavily pre-treated advanced kidney cancer patients. Side effects were tolerable and manageable. Further studies with more patients are now needed, including a biomarker for activity with pegilodecakin would be useful.

Read more in Practice Update here