A recent review of the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was published in European Urology Focus this month.

The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors has revolutionised the treatment of metastatic RCC over recent years. However, the appropriate duration of treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as nivolumab, ipilimumab and pembrolizumab remains unclear. Analyses of clinical trials with these agents has revealed that some patients have a sustained durable response to immune checkpoint inhibitors, even after treatment has stopped. This results in prolonged treatment-free intervals, fewer side effects and reduced cost associated with treatment.

A more personalised approach to immunotherapy treatment tailored to tumour response is being investigated in clinical trials. Further research is needed to clarify the ideal immune checkpoint inhibitor dosing regimen to maximise the benefit to the patients while minimising treatment-related side effects and costs.