The immune checkpoint (PD-1) inhibitor, pembrolizumab, shows promise as a first-line treatment for advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Results from the KEYNOTE-427 clinical trial were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago this week.

KEYNOTE-427 is a phase 2 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab for untreated advanced clear cell RCC. Preliminary data from 110 patients were presented. Pembrolizumab was administered intravenously every 3 weeks for 2 years, or until the cancer progressed, intolerable side effects, or the patient decided to withdraw from the study. Objective response rate was 33.6% (37.3% for intermediate/poor risk patients). The most common side effects were fatigue, itchy skin, diarrhoea, rash, and joint pain.

Pembrolizumab monotherapy demonstrated promising efficacy and acceptable tolerability in patients with untreated advanced clear cell RCC.

Read the ASCO abstract here