Publications by authors named "Bernard Escudier"

326 Publications

Sunitinib Alone or After Nephrectomy for Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: Is There Still a Role for Cytoreductive Nephrectomy?

Eur Urol 2021 Jun 26. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Gustave Roussy Institute, Villejuif, France.

Background: The CARMENA trial in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) demonstrated that treatment with sunitinib alone was noninferior to cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) followed by sunitinib (nephrectomy-sunitinib).

Objective: The objective of this study was to provide updated overall survival (OS) outcomes of CARMENA and assess whether some subgroups may still benefit from upfront CN.

Design, Setting, And Participants: CARMENA was a phase III trial in 450 patients with mRCC enrolled from 2009 to 2017.

Intervention: Patients in the intention-to-treat population received nephrectomy-sunitinib (standard of care [SOC]; n = 226) or sunitinib alone (n = 224).

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Primary endpoint was OS, assessed using an updated data cut-off (October 2018; median OS event-free follow-up, 36.6 mo). Patients were reclassified by risk using International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium (IMDC) criteria.

Results And Limitations: Sunitinib alone was noninferior to nephrectomy-sunitinib (hazard ratio [HR], 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-1.19; p = 0.8) and demonstrated longer median OS (19.8 mo vs 15.6 mo, respectively). For patients with two or more IMDC risk factors, OS was significantly longer with sunitinib alone than with nephrectomy-sunitinib (31.2 mo vs 17.6 mo, respectively; HR, 0.65; p = 0.03). For patients with one IMDC risk factor, OS was longer for nephrectomy-sunitinib versus sunitinib alone although not significantly (31.4 mo vs 25.2 mo; HR, 1.30; p = 0.2). The post hoc nature of the subgroup analyses may limit their interpretation.

Conclusions: Sunitinib alone was noninferior compared with nephrectomy-sunitinib, suggesting that CN should not be considered SOC in patients with mRCC requiring systemic treatment. Certain subgroups, including patients with one IMDC risk factor, may still benefit from upfront CN.

Patient Summary: We assessed the survival of patients with metastatic kidney cancer in a clinical trial. Patients treated with sunitinib on its own had the same survival as patients who had surgery before sunitinib treatment. We conclude that surgery may not be necessary for some patients with metastatic kidney cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.06.009DOI Listing
June 2021

Primary Renal Tumour Response in Patients Treated with Nivolumab for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results from the GETUG-AFU 26 NIVOREN Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France. Electronic address:

Primary tumour response may impact therapeutic strategies in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) but remains unknown in the era of immune checkpoint inhibitors. We aimed to describe the response of the primary tumour in patients who did not undergo upfront cytoreductive nephrectomy (uCN) and were treated with nivolumab in the GETUG-AFU-26 NIVOREN phase 2 trial. Primary tumour response was prospectively assessed, as well as the overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Among 720 patients, 111 did not undergo uCN, mainly patients with intermediate (45%) and poor (49%) International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) risk. In the 111 patients, nivolumab was used in the second line for 63% of patients and the third line or more for 37%, with an ORR of 16% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1025%); with a median follow-up of 24.5 mo (95% CI 21.6-27.1), median PFS was 2.7 mo (95% CI 2.5-4.0) and median OS was 15.9 mo (95% CI 9.5-19.8). A total of 67 patients had an evaluable primary renal lesion, four of whom (6%) experienced shrinkage of more than 30%. Overall, patients who did not undergo uCN had adverse baseline characteristics and nivolumab activity against the primary tumour was limited. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report, we observed that nivolumab was associated with a limited response of the primary tumour in previously treated patients with metastatic kidney cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.05.020DOI Listing
June 2021

Q-TWiST Analysis of Tivozanib Versus Sorafenib in Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma in the TIVO-3 Study.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2021 Apr 3. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Background: In TIVO-3, tivozanib increased progression-free survival with no difference in overall survival relative to sorafenib as third- or fourth-line therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. We applied quality-adjusted time without symptoms of disease and toxicity (Q-TWiST) methods to quantify the net health benefits of tivozanib, in the presence of similar survival, when compared with sorafenib.

Methods: The mean Q-TWiST was calculated by applying utility coefficients of 0.5, 1.0, and 0.5 to the 36-month restricted mean health states of time with toxicity (TOX), TWiST, and time after progression/relapse, respectively. The relative Q-TWiST gain was defined as the mean absolute Q-TWiST difference divided by the sorafenib mean overall survival.

Results: The mean TWiST was longer for tivozanib than for sorafenib, mean time after progression/relapse was shorter for tivozanib, with no difference in mean TOX. Mean Q-TWiST was 15.04 months and 12.78 months for tivozanib and sorafenib, respectively (P = .0493). The tivozanib relative gain was 11.2%.

Discussion: Tivozanib increased Q-TWiST relative to sorafenib, primarily through an increase in TWiST, which is generally considered to be the highest utility state.

Conclusion: Q-TWiST may be considered an alternative patient-centered measure of benefit of tivozanib in as a third- or fourth-line therapy in patients with renal cell carcinoma.

Clinical Trial Information: NCT02627963.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2021.03.018DOI Listing
April 2021

Response to systemic therapy in fumarate hydratase-deficient renal cell carcinoma.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jul 8;151:106-114. Epub 2021 May 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Réseau National de Référence pour Cancers Rares de l'Adulte PREDIR labellisé par l'INCa, Hôpital Bicêtre, AP-HP, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France. Electronic address:

Purpose: Fumarate hydratase-deficient (FHdef) renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a rare entity associated with the hereditary leiomyomatosis and RCC syndrome with no standard therapy approved. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of different systemic treatments in this population.

Methods: We performed a multicentre retrospective analysis of Fhdef RCC patients to determine the response to systemic treatments. The endpoints were objective response rate (ORR), time-to-treatment failure (TTF), and overall survival (OS). The two latter were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Twenty-four Fhdef RCC patients were identified, and 21 under systemic therapy were included in the analysis: ten received cabozantinib, 14 received sunitinib, nine received "other antiangiogenics" (sorafenib, pazopanib, and axitinib), three received erlotinib-bevacizumab (E-B), three received mTOR inhibitors, and 11 received immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs). ORR for treatments were 50% for cabozantinib, 43% for sunitinib, 63% for "other antiangiogenics," and 30% for E-B, whereas ORR was 0% for mTOR inhibitors and 18% for ICBs. The median TTF (mTTF) was significantly higher with antiangiogenics (11.6 months) than with mTOR inhibitors (4.4 months) or ICBs (2.7 months). In the first-line setting, antiangiogenics presented a higher ORR compared with nivolumab-ipilimumab (64% versus 25%) and a significantly superior mTTF (11.0 months vs 2.5 months; p = 0.0027). The median OS from the start of the first systemic treatment was 44.0 months (95% confidence interval: 13.0-95.0).

Conclusions: We report the first European retrospective study of Fhdef RCC patients treated with systemic therapy with a remarkably long median OS of 44.0 months. Our results suggest that antiangiogenics may be superior to ICB/mTOR inhibitors in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.04.009DOI Listing
July 2021

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Metastatic Clear-cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Is PD-L1 Expression Useful?

Eur Urol 2021 Jun 26;79(6):793-795. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Genito-Urinary Oncology Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Paris-Saclay University, Villejuif, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.02.040DOI Listing
June 2021

Efficacy and Safety of Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab Following Disease Progression on Atezolizumab or Sunitinib Monotherapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in IMmotion150: A Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 May 5;79(5):665-673. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors combined with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy as second-line treatment for metastatic clear cell renal cancer (mRCC) has not been evaluated prospectively.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of atezolizumab + bevacizumab following disease progression on atezolizumab or sunitinib monotherapy in patients with mRCC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: IMmotion150 was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase 2 study of patients with untreated mRCC. Patients randomized to the atezolizumab or sunitinib arm who had investigator-assessed progression as per RECIST 1.1 could be treated with second-line atezolizumab + bevacizumab.

Intervention: Patients received atezolizumab 1200 mg intravenously (IV) plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg IV every 3 wk following disease progression on either atezolizumab or sunitinib monotherapy.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The secondary endpoints analyzed during the second-line part of IMmotion150 included objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and safety. PFS was examined using Kaplan-Meier methods.

Results And Limitations: Fifty-nine patients in the atezolizumab arm and 78 in the sunitinib arm were eligible, and 103 initiated second-line atezolizumab + bevacizumab (atezolizumab arm, n = 44; sunitinib arm, n = 59). ORR (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 27% (19-37%). The median PFS (95% CI) from the start of second line was 8.7 (5.6-13.7) mo. The median event follow-up duration was 19.4 (12.9-21.9) mo among the 25 patients without a PFS event. Eighty-six (83%) patients had treatment-related adverse events; 31 of 103 (30%) had grade 3/4 events. Limitations were the small sample size and selection for progressors.

Conclusions: The atezolizumab + bevacizumab combination had activity and was tolerable in patients with progression on atezolizumab or sunitinib. Further studies are needed to investigate sequencing strategies in mRCC.

Patient Summary: Patients with advanced kidney cancer whose disease had worsened during treatment with atezolizumab or sunitinib began second-line treatment with atezolizumab + bevacizumab. Tumors shrank in more than one-quarter of patients treated with this combination, and side effects were manageable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.01.003DOI Listing
May 2021

Nivolumab plus Cabozantinib versus Sunitinib for Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma.

N Engl J Med 2021 03;384(9):829-841

From the Department of Medical Oncology, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston (T.K.C.); the Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Free National Health Service Trust, London (T.P.); the Bradford Hill Clinical Research Center, Santiago, Chile (M.B.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France (B.E.); the Department of Hemato-Oncology, Urologic Oncology Clinic, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City (M.T.B.), the Department of Medical Oncology, Centro Universitario contra el Cáncer, Hospital Universitario "Dr. José Eleuterio González," Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León (V.M.O.J.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital H+ Querétaro, Querétaro (J.P.F.) - all in Mexico; the Department of Outpatient Chemotherapy, Professor Franciszek Lukaszczyk Oncology Center, Bydgoszcz (B.Z.), and the Department of Clinical Oncology and Hematology, Regional Specialist Hospital, Biała Podlaska (J. Żołnierek) - both in Poland; the Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (J.J.H.); Oncology Unit 1, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS, Padua (U.B.), the Department of Medical Oncology, Ospedale San Donato, Istituto Toscano i, Arezzo (A.H.), the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia (C.P.), and the University of Bari "A. Moro," Bari (C.P.) - all in Italy; the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (A.Y.S.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, Barcelona (C.S.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, QLD (J.C.G.), and Cabrini Monash University Department of Medical Oncology, Cabrini Health, Malvern, VIC (D.P.) - both in Australia; the Oncology Research Center, Hospital São Lucas, Porto Alegre, Brazil (C.B.); Fundacion Richardet Longo, Instituto Oncologico de Cordoba, Cordoba (M.R.), and Instituto Multidisciplinario de Oncología, Clínica Viedma, Viedma (R.K.) - both in Argentina; the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora (E.R.K.); the Departments of Urology and Molecular Oncology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata (Y.T.), and the Department of Urology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo (R.M.) - both in Japan; the Department of Urology, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (J.B.); the Departments of Clinical Research (J. Zhang.), Clinical Oncology (M.A.M.), Biostatistics (B.S.), and Health Economics and Outcomes Research (F.E.), Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ; the Department of Clinical Oncology, Exelixis, Alameda, CA (G.M.S.); the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (A.B.A.); and the Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (R.J.M.).

Background: The efficacy and safety of nivolumab plus cabozantinib as compared with those of sunitinib in the treatment of previously untreated advanced renal-cell carcinoma are not known.

Methods: In this phase 3, randomized, open-label trial, we randomly assigned adults with previously untreated clear-cell, advanced renal-cell carcinoma to receive either nivolumab (240 mg every 2 weeks) plus cabozantinib (40 mg once daily) or sunitinib (50 mg once daily for 4 weeks of each 6-week cycle). The primary end point was progression-free survival, as determined by blinded independent central review. Secondary end points included overall survival, objective response as determined by independent review, and safety. Health-related quality of life was an exploratory end point.

Results: Overall, 651 patients were assigned to receive nivolumab plus cabozantinib (323 patients) or sunitinib (328 patients). At a median follow-up of 18.1 months for overall survival, the median progression-free survival was 16.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.5 to 24.9) with nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 8.3 months (95% CI, 7.0 to 9.7) with sunitinib (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.64; P<0.001). The probability of overall survival at 12 months was 85.7% (95% CI, 81.3 to 89.1) with nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 75.6% (95% CI, 70.5 to 80.0) with sunitinib (hazard ratio for death, 0.60; 98.89% CI, 0.40 to 0.89; P = 0.001). An objective response occurred in 55.7% of the patients receiving nivolumab plus cabozantinib and in 27.1% of those receiving sunitinib (P<0.001). Efficacy benefits with nivolumab plus cabozantinib were consistent across subgroups. Adverse events of any cause of grade 3 or higher occurred in 75.3% of the 320 patients receiving nivolumab plus cabozantinib and in 70.6% of the 320 patients receiving sunitinib. Overall, 19.7% of the patients in the combination group discontinued at least one of the trial drugs owing to adverse events, and 5.6% discontinued both. Patients reported better health-related quality of life with nivolumab plus cabozantinib than with sunitinib.

Conclusions: Nivolumab plus cabozantinib had significant benefits over sunitinib with respect to progression-free survival, overall survival, and likelihood of response in patients with previously untreated advanced renal-cell carcinoma. (Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb and others; CheckMate 9ER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03141177.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2026982DOI Listing
March 2021

Prognosis of Incidental Brain Metastases in Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 Apr 12;19(4):432-438. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

1Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Background: Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) management guidelines recommend brain imaging if clinically indicated and the rate of occult central nervous system (CNS) metastasis is not well-defined. Early detection could have major therapeutic implications, because timely interventions may limit morbidity and mortality.

Patients And Methods: A retrospective review was performed to characterize patients with mRCC incidentally diagnosed with asymptomatic brain metastases during screening for clinical trial participation at Gustave Roussy and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Descriptive statistics and time-to-event methods were used to evaluate the cohort.

Results: Across 68 clinical trials conducted between 2001 and 2019 with a median 14.1-month follow-up, 72 of 1,689 patients (4.3%) with mRCC harbored occult brain metastases. The International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium (IMDC) risk status was favorable (26%), intermediate (61%), and poor (13%), and 86% of patients had ≥2 extracranial sites of disease, including lung metastases in 92% of patients. CNS involvement was multifocal in 38.5% of patients, and the largest brain metastasis was >1 cm in diameter in 40% of the cohort. Localized brain-directed therapy was pursued in 93% of patients, predominantly radiotherapy. Median overall survival was 10.3 months (range, 7.0-17.9 months), and the 1-year overall survival probability was 48% (95% CI, 37%-62%). IMDC risk and number or size of lesions did not correlate with survival (log-rank, P=.3, P=.25, and P=.067, respectively).

Conclusions: This large multi-institutional mRCC cohort study identified occult brain metastasis in a notable proportion of patients (4.3%) and highlights that the risk of asymptomatic CNS involvement extends to those with favorable risk features per IMDC risk assessment. These data provide rationale for brain screening in patients with advanced RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7634DOI Listing
April 2021

The Effect of Concomitant Proton Pump Inhibitor and Cabozantinib on the Outcomes of Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Oncologist 2021 05 25;26(5):389-396. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Cancer Medicine Department, Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Introduction: Cabozantinib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Cabozantinib is a weak base that exhibits a pH-dependent solubility profile in vitro which raises concerns about its bioavailability in patients treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether PPI use has an impact on the efficacy, safety, and residual concentration (Ctrough) of cabozantinib in patients with mRCC.

Materials And Methods: This is a retrospective review of a prospectively collected electronic database of patients with mRCC who received cabozantinib at Gustave Roussy between February 2014 and December 2018. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis and the Cox proportional-hazard model for uni- and multivariate analysis. In parallel, we conducted a pharmacokinetic study of cabozantinib in a distinct cohort of 50 mRCC patients, in which cabozantinib Ctrough was assayed using a validated tandem mass spectrometry-liquid chromatography method.

Results: We identified 99 patients treated with cabozantinib, including 43 patients being PPI users. With a median follow-up of 30.3 months, PPI users showed similar progression-free survival and overall survival outcomes compared with PPI nonusers. Similarly, the incidence of adverse events was not significantly different between the PPI users and nonusers, although PPI users required dose reductions more often. In the independent pharmacokinetic cohort, of whom 21 received PPI concomitantly, Ctrough was similar between the two groups.

Conclusion: In line with the pharmacologic data, the concomitant use of PPI does not significantly impact the efficacy or safety of cabozantinib in patients with mRCC.

Implications For Practice: Drug interactions, especially between targeted therapies and proton pump inhibitors (PPI), were shown to potentially impact the outcomes of cancer patients. Cabozantinib, a current therapeutic standard in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), exhibits a pH-dependent solubility profile, which raises concerns about its bioavailability in patients treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPI). At the present time, there is no evidence regarding the effect of PPIs on cabozantinib's efficacy and safety in patients with mRCC. This study found that the concomitant use of PPI during cabozantinib treatment in mRCC patients does not appear to impact the residual concentration, efficacy, and safety of cabozantinib in a real-life context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8100573PMC
May 2021

Identification of international metastatic renal cell carcinoma database consortium (IMDC) intermediate-risk subgroups in patients with metastatic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma.

Oncotarget 2020 Dec 8;11(49):4582-4592. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Institute Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Majority of patients with clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) at first line (1L) treatment are classified in the intermediate-risk (IR) subgroup according to International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) score. As these patients have different prognosis, the aim of this study is to better characterize IR patients in order to better tailor the treatment. Retrospective analysis was performed from IGReCC (Institut Gustave Roussy Renal Cell Carcinoma) database. Overall survival (OS) was defined from start of 1L therapy to death or last follow-up. A multivariable Cox model with backward selection procedure (α = 0.01) and a Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis were performed to identify which prognostic factors were associated to OS in IR patients. From 2005 to 2017, 777 patients with ccRCC were treated with an anti-VEGF 1L therapy. Among 571 evaluable patients for IMDC score, 290 (51%) were classified as IR. With median follow-up 5.8 years (min: 0, max: 12.4) 212 deaths (73%) were observed and median OS was 25 months. Only platelet count was significantly associated to OS (hazard ratio 1.88 [95% CI 1.27-2.88] = 0.0017). Median OS for patients with PLT > UNL was 18 months [95% CI 12-23] versus 29 months [95% CI 21.4-35.7] for patients with normal PLT count. The selection of PLT count was confirmed on bootstrap samples and was also selected for the first split of the CART-tree analysis. Patients in the IR group have a heterogeneous prognosis. Elevated PLT count seems identifies a subgroup of patients with poor outcome in the IMDC intermediate-risk population with ccRCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27762DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7733622PMC
December 2020

Real-world evidence of cabozantinib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Results from the CABOREAL Early Access Program.

Eur J Cancer 2021 01 27;142:102-111. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Saint-André, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Real-world data on cabozantinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) is limited. This study (CABOREAL) reports treatment patterns and outcomes for patients treated with cabozantinib through the French Early Access Program.

Patients And Methods: This multicentre (n = 26), observational, retrospective study enrolled patients with mRCC who had received ≥1 dose of cabozantinib. Overall survival (OS) was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method; subgroups were compared using the log-rank test. A multiple Cox regression model assessed predictive factors of OS after cabozantinib initiation.

Results: Four hundred and ten recruited patients started treatment between September 2016 and February 2018: the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status ≥2, 39.3%; poor International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) risk, 31.7%; 0-1, 2 and ≥3 previous treatment lines, 25.3%, 33.4% and 41.2%, respectively; bone metastases, 55.9%; brain metastases, 16.8%. Median (min-max) follow-up was 14.4 (0-30) months. Overall, 57.0% of patients had a dose reduction, 15.6% an alternative dose schedule. The median average daily dose was 40.0 mg. Median (quartile [Q]1-Q3) treatment duration was 7.6 (0.1-29.1) months, median OS was 14.4 months, and the 12-month OS rate was 56.5% (95% confidence interval: 51.5-61.2). Most patients (54.4%) received subsequent treatment. Predictive factors associated with longer OS were body mass index ≥25 kg/m (p = 0.0021), prior nephrectomy (p = 0.0109), favourable or intermediate IMDC risk (p < 0.0001) and cabozantinib initiation at 60 mg/day (p = 0.0486).

Conclusions: In the largest real-world study to date, cabozantinib was effective in unselected, heavily pretreated patients with mRCC. Initiation at 60 mg/day was associated with improved outcomes. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT03744585.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.09.030DOI Listing
January 2021

Molecular Subsets in Renal Cancer Determine Outcome to Checkpoint and Angiogenesis Blockade.

Cancer Cell 2020 12 5;38(6):803-817.e4. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Integrated multi-omics evaluation of 823 tumors from advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients identifies molecular subsets associated with differential clinical outcomes to angiogenesis blockade alone or with a checkpoint inhibitor. Unsupervised transcriptomic analysis reveals seven molecular subsets with distinct angiogenesis, immune, cell-cycle, metabolism, and stromal programs. While sunitinib and atezolizumab + bevacizumab are effective in subsets with high angiogenesis, atezolizumab + bevacizumab improves clinical benefit in tumors with high T-effector and/or cell-cycle transcription. Somatic mutations in PBRM1 and KDM5C associate with high angiogenesis and AMPK/fatty acid oxidation gene expression, while CDKN2A/B and TP53 alterations associate with increased cell-cycle and anabolic metabolism. Sarcomatoid tumors exhibit lower prevalence of PBRM1 mutations and angiogenesis markers, frequent CDKN2A/B alterations, and increased PD-L1 expression. These findings can be applied to molecularly stratify patients, explain improved outcomes of sarcomatoid tumors to checkpoint blockade versus antiangiogenics alone, and develop personalized therapies in RCC and other indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2020.10.011DOI Listing
December 2020

Adjuvant Sorafenib for Renal Cell Carcinoma at Intermediate or High Risk of Relapse: Results From the SORCE Randomized Phase III Intergroup Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 14;38(34):4064-4075. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London (UCL), Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology, London, United Kingdom.

Purpose: SORCE is an international, randomized, double-blind, three-arm trial of sorafenib after surgical excision of primary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) found to be at intermediate or high risk of recurrence.

Patients And Methods: We randomly assigned participants (2:3:3) to 3 years of placebo (arm A), 1 year of sorafenib followed by 2 years of placebo (arm B), or 3 years of sorafenib (arm C). The initial sorafenib dose was 400 mg twice per day orally, amended to 400 mg daily. The primary outcome analysis, which was revised as a result of external results, was investigator-reported disease-free survival (DFS) comparing 3 years of sorafenib versus placebo.

Results: Between July 2007 and April 2013, we randomly assigned 1,711 participants (430, 642, and 639 participants in arms A, B, and C, respectively). Median age was 58 years, 71% of patients were men, 84% had clear cell histology, 53% were at intermediate risk of recurrence, and 47% were at high risk of recurrence. We observed no differences in DFS or overall survival in all randomly assigned patients, patients with high risk of recurrence, or patients with clear cell RCC only. Median DFS was not reached for 3 years of sorafenib or for placebo (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.23; = .95). We observed nonproportional hazards; the restricted mean survival time (RMST) was 6.81 years for 3 years of sorafenib and 6.82 years for placebo (RMST difference, 0.01 year; 95% CI, -0.49 to 0.48 year; = .99). Despite offering treatment adaptations, more than half of participants stopped treatment by 12 months. Grade 3 hand-foot skin reaction was reported in 24% of participants on sorafenib.

Conclusion: Sorafenib should not be used as adjuvant therapy for RCC. Active surveillance remains the standard of care for patients at intermediate or high risk of recurrence after nephrectomy and is the appropriate control of our current international adjuvant RCC trial, RAMPART.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768344PMC
December 2020

Exploratory analysis of the platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio prognostic value in the adjuvant renal cell cancer setting.

Future Oncol 2021 Feb 8;17(4):403-409. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

To examine the prognostic value of the platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) in the adjuvant renal cell carcinoma setting. Patients received adjuvant sunitinib (50 mg/day; 4 weeks on/2 weeks off) or placebo. The primary end point was disease-free survival (DFS). In 609 patients, DFS was similar for baseline PLR <140 versus ≥140 overall (median: 6.4 vs 5.9 years; hazard ratio: 0.9; 95% CI: 0.7-1.2). A ≥25% decrease in PLR at week 4 overall was associated with longer DFS versus no change (hazard ratio: 0.8; 95% CI: 0.6-1.0). Baseline PLR was not prognostic for DFS with adjuvant sunitinib treatment in patients with renal cell carcinoma. Clinical Trials Registration: NCT00375674 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0652DOI Listing
February 2021

Final Overall Survival Results from a Phase 3 Study to Compare Tivozanib to Sorafenib as Third- or Fourth-line Therapy in Subjects with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Eur Urol 2020 12 13;78(6):783-785. Epub 2020 Sep 13.

Hematology and Oncology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN, USA. Electronic address:

Tivozanib is a potent and selective inhibitor of the VEGF receptor. In an open-label, randomized phase 3 trial, we compared tivozanib to sorafenib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) who had received two or three prior therapies. We have previously reported that the study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating an improvement in progression-free survival with tivozanib versus sorafenib (5.6 mo vs 3.9 mo; hazard ratio [HR] 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56-0.94; p=0.016). The current report reflects the final assessment of overall survival, showing no difference between treatment with tivozanib and sorafenib (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.75-1.24). Given its activity and distinct tolerability profile, tivozanib represents a treatment option for patients with previously treated mRCC. PATIENT SUMMARY: We show that tivozanib, a targeted therapy, can delay tumor growth relative to an already approved targeted therapy (sorafenib) in patients with kidney cancer who have received two or three prior treatments. No difference in survival was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.08.007DOI Listing
December 2020

Cross-reactivity between tumor MHC class I-restricted antigens and an enterococcal bacteriophage.

Science 2020 08;369(6506):936-942

Department of Physics of Complex Systems, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.

Intestinal microbiota have been proposed to induce commensal-specific memory T cells that cross-react with tumor-associated antigens. We identified major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-binding epitopes in the tail length tape measure protein (TMP) of a prophage found in the genome of the bacteriophage Mice bearing harboring this prophage mounted a TMP-specific H-2K-restricted CD8 T lymphocyte response upon immunotherapy with cyclophosphamide or anti-PD-1 antibodies. Administration of bacterial strains engineered to express the TMP epitope improved immunotherapy in mice. In renal and lung cancer patients, the presence of the enterococcal prophage in stools and expression of a TMP-cross-reactive antigen by tumors correlated with long-term benefit of PD-1 blockade therapy. In melanoma patients, T cell clones recognizing naturally processed cancer antigens that are cross-reactive with microbial peptides were detected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aax0701DOI Listing
August 2020

Nivolumab versus everolimus in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma: Updated results with long-term follow-up of the randomized, open-label, phase 3 CheckMate 025 trial.

Cancer 2020 09 16;126(18):4156-4167. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Clinical Trials, Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey.

Background: CheckMate 025 has shown superior efficacy for nivolumab over everolimus in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) along with improved safety and tolerability. This analysis assesses the long-term clinical benefits of nivolumab versus everolimus.

Methods: The randomized, open-label, phase 3 CheckMate 025 trial (NCT01668784) included patients with clear cell aRCC previously treated with 1 or 2 antiangiogenic regimens. Patients were randomized to nivolumab (3 mg/kg every 2 weeks) or everolimus (10 mg once a day) until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). The secondary endpoints were the confirmed objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), safety, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

Results: Eight hundred twenty-one patients were randomized to nivolumab (n = 410) or everolimus (n = 411); 803 patients were treated (406 with nivolumab and 397 with everolimus). With a minimum follow-up of 64 months (median, 72 months), nivolumab maintained an OS benefit in comparison with everolimus (median, 25.8 months [95% CI, 22.2-29.8 months] vs 19.7 months [95% CI, 17.6-22.1 months]; hazard ratio [HR], 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62-0.85) with 5-year OS probabilities of 26% and 18%, respectively. ORR was higher with nivolumab (94 of 410 [23%] vs 17 of 411 [4%]; P < .001). PFS also favored nivolumab (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99; P = .0331). The most common treatment-related adverse events of any grade were fatigue (34.7%) and pruritus (15.5%) with nivolumab and fatigue (34.5%) and stomatitis (29.5%) with everolimus. HRQOL improved from baseline with nivolumab but remained the same or deteriorated with everolimus.

Conclusions: The superior efficacy of nivolumab over everolimus is maintained after extended follow-up with no new safety signals, and this supports the long-term benefits of nivolumab monotherapy in patients with previously treated aRCC.

Lay Summary: CheckMate 025 compared the effects of nivolumab (a novel immunotherapy) with those of everolimus (an older standard-of-care therapy) for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer in patients who had progressed on antiangiogenic therapy. After 5 years of study, nivolumab continues to be better than everolimus in extending the lives of patients, providing a long-lasting response to treatment, and improving quality of life with a manageable safety profile. The results demonstrate that the clinical benefits of nivolumab versus everolimus in previously treated patients with advanced kidney cancer continue in the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33033DOI Listing
September 2020

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on treatment patterns in metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

ESMO Open 2020 07;5(Suppl 3)

Medical Oncology and Haematology, Kantonsspital St Gallen, Sankt Gallen, Switzerland

Background: The coronavirus pandemic has provoked discussions among healthcare providers how to manage cancer patients when faced with the threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) containing regimens are standard of care in the majority of metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (mccRCC) patients. It remains unclear whether therapies should be modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We performed an online survey among physicians involved in the treatment of mccRCC, and 41 experts responded. Questions focused on criteria relevant for treatment decision outside the pandemic and the modifications of systemic therapy during COVID-19.

Findings: For the majority of experts (73%), the combination of International metastatic renal cell carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) risk category and patient fitness are two important factors for decision-making. The main treatment choice in fit, favourable risk patients outside the pandemic is pembrolizumab/axitinib for 53%, avelumab/axitinib, sunitinib or pazopanib for 13% of experts each. During the pandemic, ICI-containing regimens are chosen less often in favour of a tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) monotherapy, mainly sunitinib or pazopanib (35%).In fit, intermediate/poor-risk patients outside the pandemic, over 80% of experts choose ipilimumab/nivolumab, in contrast to only 41% of physicians during COVID-19, instead more TKI monotherapies are given. In patients responding to established therapies with ICI/ICI or ICI/TKI combinations, most participants modify treatment regimen by extending cycle length, holding one ICI or even both.

Conclusion: mccRCC treatment modifications in light of the coronavirus pandemic are variable, with a shift from ICI/ICI to ICI/TKI or TKI monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-000852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7368485PMC
July 2020

Survival outcomes and independent response assessment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma: 42-month follow-up of a randomized phase 3 clinical trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 07;8(2)

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA.

Background: The extent to which response and survival benefits with immunotherapy-based regimens persist informs optimal first-line treatment options. We provide long-term follow-up in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) receiving first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab (NIVO+IPI) versus sunitinib (SUN) in the phase 3 CheckMate 214 trial. Survival, response, and safety outcomes with NIVO+IPI versus SUN were assessed after a minimum of 42 months of follow-up.

Methods: Patients with aRCC were enrolled from October 16, 2014, through February 23, 2016. Patients stratified by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) risk and region were randomized to nivolumab (3 mg/kg) plus ipilimumab (1 mg/kg) every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by nivolumab (3 mg/kg) every 2 weeks; or SUN (50 mg) once per day for 4 weeks (6-week cycle). Primary endpoints: overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and objective response rate (ORR) per independent radiology review committee in IMDC intermediate-risk/poor-risk patients. Secondary endpoints: OS, PFS, and ORR in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population and safety. Favorable-risk patient outcomes were exploratory.

Results: Among ITT patients, 550 were randomized to NIVO+IPI (425 intermediate/poor risk; 125 favorable risk) and 546 to SUN (422 intermediate/poor risk; 124 favorable risk). Among intermediate-risk/poor-risk patients, OS (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.55-0.80) and PFS (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.62-0.90) benefits were observed, and ORR was higher (42.1% vs 26.3%) with NIVO+IPI versus SUN. In ITT patients, both OS benefits (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.61-0.86) and higher ORR (39.1% vs 32.6%) were observed with NIVO+IPI versus SUN. In favorable-risk patients, HR for death was 1.19 (95% CI, 0.77-1.85) and ORR was 28.8% with NIVO+IPI versus 54.0% with SUN. Duration of response was longer (HR, 0.46-0.54), and more patients achieved complete response (10.1%-12.8% vs 1.4%-5.6%) with NIVO+IPI versus SUN regardless of risk group. The incidence of treatment-related adverse events was consistent with previous reports.

Conclusions: NIVO+IPI led to improved efficacy outcomes versus SUN in both intermediate-risk/poor-risk and ITT patients that were maintained through 42 months' minimum follow-up. A complete response rate >10% was achieved with NIVO+IPI regardless of risk category, with no new safety signals detected in either arm. These results support NIVO+IPI as a first-line treatment option with the potential for durable response.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02231749.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000891DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359377PMC
July 2020

Atezolizumab plus Bevacizumab Versus Sunitinib for Patients with Untreated Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma and Sarcomatoid Features: A Prespecified Subgroup Analysis of the IMmotion151 Clinical Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 May 9;79(5):659-662. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC, USA.

Patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid features (sRCC) have a poor prognosis and have shown limited responsiveness to inhibition of the VEGF pathway. We conducted a prespecified analysis of the randomised, phase 3 IMmotion151 trial in previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic RCC to assess the effectiveness of atezolizumab + bevacizumab versus sunitinib in a subgroup of patients with sarcomatoid features. Patients whose tumour had any component of sarcomatoid features were included and received atezolizumab + bevacizumab (n = 68) or sunitinib (n = 74). Baseline characteristics were similar between the groups. Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the group receiving atezolizumab + bevacizumab overall (8.3 vs 5.3 mo; hazard ratio [HR] 0.52 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-0.79) and in the subset of patients with PD-L1-positive tumours (8.6 vs 5.6 mo; HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.26-0.77). More patients receiving atezolizumab + bevacizumab achieved an objective response (49% vs 14%), including complete responses (10% vs 3%), and reported greater symptom improvements versus sunitinib. Safety was consistent with the known profiles of each drug and with that reported in the overall safety-evaluable population of IMmotion151. This analysis supports enhanced activity of atezolizumab + bevacizumab in patients with sRCC. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report, we looked at patients with a specific type of kidney cancer (tumours with sarcomatoid features) that has been hard to treat. A treatment with two drugs (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) appeared to help patients live longer without the disease getting worse than another drug (sunitinib) that is often used. Patients who took the two drugs also said they were better able to carry out their everyday activities than patients who took sunitinib. The combination of these two drugs may work better in patients with this type of advanced kidney cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.06.021DOI Listing
May 2021

Are immune checkpoint inhibitors a valid option for papillary renal cell carcinoma? A multicentre retrospective study.

Eur J Cancer 2020 09 9;136:76-83. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France. Electronic address:

Background: Papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) is the most common non-clear cell RCC (nccRCC). Pivotal studies evaluating immune checkpoint inhibitors mostly excluded nccRCC. The aim of this retrospective and multicentre study was to evaluate the activity of programmed death-1 (PD-1)/ programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors specifically in metastatic pRCC.

Methods: The primary end-point was time to treatment failure (TTF). Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS) and treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs).

Results: From 02/2016 to 01/2019, 57 patients with pRCC were included. Histology included 16 (28%) type 1 pRCC, 34 (60%) type 2 pRCC and 7 (12%) unclassified pRCC. Treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors was used in the first-line setting in 4 patients (7%), in the second-line setting in 32 patients (56%) and in the third-line setting or more in 21 patients (37%). With a median follow-up of 12 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.9-21.0), the median TTF was 3.1 months (95% CI: 2.7-5.0). Among the 55 patients evaluable for ORR, best response was complete response/partial response in 6 patients (11%), stable disease in 18 patients (33%) and progressive disease in 31 patients (56%). The median OS was 14.6 months (95% CI: 9.0- not reached). TRAEs of grade III-IV were noted in 6 patients (10%) leading to treatment discontinuation, and no grade V TRAEs were observed.

Conclusion: PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors exhibit limited activity as monotherapy in this pRCC population, which remains an unmet need. Our findings underline the need for further prospective clinical trials evaluating immune checkpoint inhibitor combinations in patients with pRCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.02.019DOI Listing
September 2020

Immunomodulatory Roles of VEGF Pathway Inhibitors in Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Drugs 2020 Aug;80(12):1169-1181

Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, 114 rue Edouard Vaillant, 94800, Villejuif, France.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in combination with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have become a new standard of care in treatment-naïve patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The rationale for these combinations relies on the interplay between the immune and angiogenic systems. The angiogenic factors and their receptors can promote an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment by a direct effect on the innate immune cells and adaptive immune cells, and by an indirect effect through their influence on endothelial cells. Antiangiogenic therapies counteract these immunosuppressive effects by increasing tumor infiltration of mature dendritic cells and effector T cells, and decreasing tumor infiltration of immunosuppressive cells such as regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. The immunomodulatory properties of antiangiogenic therapies combined with ICIs may provide enhanced activity through various mechanisms of action. Different associations with ICIs such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors and antiangiogenic therapies such as VEGFR-TKI or bevacizumab have been tested and led to the approval of pembrolizumab plus axitinib and avelumab plus axitinib in the first-line treatment of patients with advanced RCC. Other VEGFR axis inhibitors and ICI combinations are currently being tested with promising results. More combinations of immune agents, including cancer vaccines and immunostimulatory agents, are also being evaluated in association with VEGFR-TKI. Defining the best combination for each patient as well as the optimal therapeutic sequence will be essential to guide treatment decisions in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40265-020-01327-7DOI Listing
August 2020

Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio as a Prognostic Factor of Disease-free Survival in Postnephrectomy High-risk Locoregional Renal Cell Carcinoma: Analysis of the S-TRAC Trial.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 09 16;26(18):4863-4868. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina.

Purpose: In the S-TRAC trial, adjuvant sunitinib improved disease-free survival (DFS) compared with placebo in patients with locoregional renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at high risk of recurrence. This exploratory analysis investigated the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) for predictive and prognostic significance in the RCC adjuvant setting.

Experimental Design: Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional analyses were performed on baseline NLR and change from baseline at week 4 to assess their association with DFS. Univariate values were two-sided and based on an unstratified log-rank test.

Results: 609 of 615 patients had baseline NLR values; 574 patients had baseline and week 4 values. Sunitinib-treated patients with baseline NLR <3 had longer DFS versus placebo (7.1 vs. 4.7; HR, 0.71; = 0.02). For baseline NLR ≥3, DFS was similar regardless of treatment (sunitinib 6.8 vs. placebo not reached; HR, 1.03; = 0.91). A ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 was associated with longer DFS versus no change (6.8 vs. 5.3 years; HR, 0.71; = 0.01). A greater proportion of sunitinib-treated patients had ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 (71.2%) versus placebo (17.4%). Patients with ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 received a higher median cumulative sunitinib dose (10,137.5 mg) versus no change (8,168.8 mg) or ≥25% increase (6,712.5 mg).

Conclusions: In the postnephrectomy high-risk RCC patient cohort, low baseline NLR may help identify those most suitable for adjuvant sunitinib. A ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 may be an early indicator of those most likely to tolerate treatment and derive DFS benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0704DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7501085PMC
September 2020

Gut Bacteria Composition Drives Primary Resistance to Cancer Immunotherapy in Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients.

Eur Urol 2020 08 4;78(2):195-206. Epub 2020 May 4.

Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus (GRCC), Villejuif, France; Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus (GRCC), Villejuif, France.

Background: The development of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has revolutionized the clinical outcome of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Nevertheless, improvement of durability and prediction of responses remain unmet medical needs. While it has been recognized that antibiotics (ATBs) decrease the clinical activity of ICB across various malignancies, little is known about the direct impact of distinct intestinal nonpathogenic bacteria (commensals) on therapeutic outcomes of ICB in RCC.

Objective: To evaluate the predictive value of stool bacteria composition for ICB efficacy in a cohort of advanced RCC patients.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We prospectively collected fecal samples from 69 advanced RCC patients treated with nivolumab and enrolled in the GETUG-AFU 26 NIVOREN microbiota translational substudy phase 2 trial (NCT03013335) at Gustave Roussy. We recorded patient characteristics including ATB use, prior systemic therapies, and response criteria. We analyzed 2994 samples of feces from healthy volunteers (HVs). In parallel, preclinical studies performed in RCC-bearing mice that received fecal transplant (FMT) from RCC patients resistant to ICB (NR-FMT) allowed us to draw a cause-effect relationship between gut bacteria composition and clinical outcomes for ICB. The influence of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) taken before starting nivolumab on the microbiota composition has also been assessed.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Metagenomic data (MG) from whole genome sequencing (WGS) were analyzed by multivariate and pairwise comparisons/fold ratio to identify bacterial fingerprints related to ATB or prior TKI exposure and patients' therapeutic response (overall response and progression-free survival), and compared with the data from cancer-free donors.

Results And Limitations: Recent ATB use (n = 11; 16%) reduced objective response rates (from 28% to 9%, p < 0.03) and markedly affected the composition of the microbiota, facilitating the dominance of distinct species such as Clostridium hathewayi, which were also preferentially over-represented in stools from RCC patients compared with HVs. Importantly, TKIs taken prior to nivolumab had implications in shifting the microbiota composition. To establish a cause-effect relationship between gut bacteria composition and ICB efficacy, NR-FMT mice were successfully compensated with either FMT from responding RCC patients or beneficial commensals identified by WGS-MG (Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides salyersiae).

Conclusions: The composition of the microbiota is influenced by TKIs and ATBs, and impacts the success of immunotherapy. Future studies will help sharpen the role of these specific bacteria and their potential as new biomarkers.

Patient Summary: We used quantitative shotgun DNA sequencing of fecal microbes as well as preclinical models of fecal or bacterial transfer to study the association between stool composition and (pre)clinical outcome to immune checkpoint blockade. Novel insights into the pathophysiological relevance of intestinal dysbiosis in the prognosis of kidney cancer may lead to innovative therapeutic solutions, such as supplementation with probiotics to prevent primary resistance to therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.04.044DOI Listing
August 2020

Angiogenic and immunomodulatory biomarkers in axitinib-treated patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Future Oncol 2020 Jun 4;16(17):1199-1210. Epub 2020 May 4.

Pfizer Oncology, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Immunomodulatory mechanisms contributing to angiogenic inhibition in renal tumors are not well characterized. We report associations between efficacy and tumor-associated immune cells and mRNA/miRNA expression in patients from AXIS. Immunohistochemistry (n = 52) and mRNA/miRNA expression analyses (n = 72) were performed on tumor samples. In axitinib-treated patients, higher and expression, respectively, was associated with longer progression-free survival (hazard ratio; 95% CI: 0.3; 0.1-0.8 and 0.4; 0.2-0.9) and showed interaction with treatment (p = 0.029 and p < 0.001); lower expression was associated with objective response (odds ratio: 0.1; 95% CI: 0.01-1.0) and longer overall survival (hazard ratio: 3.9; 95% CI: 1.4-10.3). , and expression levels may be prognostic/predictive of clinical benefit with axitinib. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00678392.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0212DOI Listing
June 2020

On the Shoulders of Giants: The Evolution of Renal Cell Carcinoma Treatment-Cytokines, Targeted Therapy, and Immunotherapy.

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book 2020 Mar;40:1-18

Deptartment of Cancer Medicine, Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

The treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has evolved dramatically over the past 30 years, as has a better understanding of the biology of the disease, knowledge of multiple subtypes with distinct molecular abnormalities, and improved comprehension of the perturbed pathways that lead to the development and growth of RCC. This is no longer a monolithic disease, although the majority of tumors are of the clear cell subtype. However, progress is being made in other subtypes as well, as molecular profiles are better understood and as new agents show activity. Immunotherapies remain a major category of treatment, from cytokines to checkpoint inhibitors to ex vivo activated cellular therapy. Antiangiogenesis tyrosine kinase inhibitors are also an important part of the armamentarium. Because these approaches have evolved, we are now in the era of combination therapy using agents of differing mechanisms to try to achieve synergy to increase response rates and create durable responses leading to prolonged survival. Renal cell carcinoma as a tumor is unique in that there has always been a subset of patients who achieve complete responses that last for many years without subsequent treatment. Thus, the goal of further development is to enlarge this subset using new therapeutic approaches and to achieve further durable responses and treatment-free survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/EDBK_280817DOI Listing
March 2020

Patient-reported outcomes in a phase 2 study comparing atezolizumab alone or with bevacizumab vs sunitinib in previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

BJU Int 2020 07 24;126(1):73-82. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Barts Cancer Institute, Royal Free Hospital, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Objective: To evaluate patient-reported outcome (PRO) data from the IMmotion150 study. The phase 2 IMmotion150 study showed improved progression-free survival with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab vs sunitinib in patients with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)+ tumours and suggested activity of atezolizumab monotherapy in previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Patients And Methods: Patients with previously untreated mRCC were randomised to atezolizumab 1200 mg intravenously (i.v.) every 3 weeks (n = 103), the atezolizumab regimen plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg i.v. every 3 weeks (n = 101), or sunitinib 50 mg orally daily (4 weeks on, 2 weeks off; n = 101). The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) and Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) were administered on days 1 and 22 of each 6-week cycle. Time to deterioration (TTD), change from baseline in MDASI core and RCC symptom severity, interference with daily life, and BFI fatigue severity and interference scores were reported for all comers. The TTD was the first ≥2-point score increase over baseline. Absolute effect size ≥0.2 suggested a clinically important difference with checkpoint inhibitor therapy vs sunitinib.

Results: Completion rates were >90% at baseline and ≥80% at most visits. Delayed TTD in core and RCC symptoms, symptom interference, fatigue, and fatigue-related interference was observed with atezolizumab (both alone and in combination) vs sunitinib. Improved TTD (hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI]) was more pronounced with atezolizumab monotherapy: core symptoms, 0.39 (0.22-0.71); RCC symptoms, 0.22 (0.12-0.41); and symptom interference, 0.36 (0.22-0.58). Change from baseline by visit, evaluated by the MDASI, also showed a trend favouring atezolizumab monotherapy vs sunitinib. Small sample sizes may have limited the ability to draw definitive conclusions.

Conclusion: PROs suggested that atezolizumab alone or with bevacizumab maintained daily function compared with sunitinib. Notably, symptoms were least severe with atezolizumab alone vs sunitinib (IMmotion150; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01984242).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15058DOI Listing
July 2020

Axitinib in first-line for patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma: Results of the multicentre, open-label, single-arm, phase II AXIPAP trial.

Eur J Cancer 2020 04 5;129:107-116. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Introduction: Papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC) represents 10%-15% of renal carcinomas. No standard treatments exist for metastatic PRCC (mPRCC) patients. Axitinib is indicated as second-line treatment in metastatic clear cell renal carcinoma, and we aim to assess the efficacy of this vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor in front line for mPRCC.

Methods: This French multicentre phase II study AXIPAP enrolled untreated mPRCC patients, with measurable disease, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤ 1 and adequate organ functions. PRCC had to be confirmed by histology expert central review. Axitinib was administered orally 5 mg twice daily. Primary end-point was progression-free rate at 24 weeks (24w-PFR) by central review.

Results: Fifty-six patients were screened, and 44 included (13 type 1, 30 type 2 and 1 non-specified). The median follow-up was 32.0 (13.1-39.9) months. The 24w-PFR was 45.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 32.6% to +∞), the objective response rate was 28.6% (95% CI, 15.7%-44.6%) (type 1: 7.7%; type 2: 35.7%). The overall median progression free survival was 6.6 months (95% CI, 5.5-9.2), 6.7 months (95% CI, 5.5-9.2) and 6.2 months (95% CI, 5.4-9.2) for type 1 and 2, respectively. Median overall survival was 18.9 months (95% CI, 12.8-not reached). Adverse events were as expected; grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events were rare except hypertension (27%).

Conclusions: Axitinib demonstrated encouraging efficacy in mPRCC patients, especially in type 2 PRCC. Toxicity was manageable. Axitinib appears as an interesting option for first-line treatment and to be worth further investigation in combination with immunotherapy in these patients. Expert pathology review should be recommended in this setting.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02489695.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.02.001DOI Listing
April 2020

Patient-Reported Outcomes from the Phase III Randomized IMmotion151 Trial: Atezolizumab Bevacizumab versus Sunitinib in Treatment-Naïve Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 06 3;26(11):2506-2514. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Purpose: Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) were evaluated in the phase III IMmotion151 trial (NCT02420821) to inform overall treatment/disease burden of atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib in patients with previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Patients And Methods: Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive atezolizumab 1,200 mg intravenous (i.v.) infusions every 3 weeks (q3w) plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg i.v. q3w or sunitinib 50 mg per day orally 4 weeks on/2 weeks off. Patients completed the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI), National Comprehensive Cancer Network Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Kidney Symptom Index (FKSI-19), and Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) at baseline, q3w during treatment, at end of treatment, and during survival follow-up. Longitudinal and time to deterioration (TTD) analyses for core and RCC symptoms and their interference with daily life, treatment side-effect bother, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were evaluated.

Results: The intent-to-treat population included 454 and 461 patients in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab and sunitinib arms, respectively. Completion rates for each instrument were 83% to 86% at baseline and ≥ 70% through week 54. Milder symptoms, less symptom interference and treatment side-effect bother, and better HRQOL at most visits were reported with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib. The TTD HR (95% CI) favored atezolizumab plus bevacizumab for core (HR, 0.50; 0.40-0.62) and RCC symptoms (HR, 0.45; 0.37-0.55), symptom interference (HR, 0.56; 0.46-0.68), and HRQOL (HR, 0.68; 0.58-0.81).

Conclusions: PROs in IMmotion151 suggest lower overall treatment burden with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab compared with sunitinib in patients with treatment-naïve mRCC and provide further evidence for clinical benefit of this regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2838DOI Listing
June 2020

Outcomes based on age in the phase III METEOR trial of cabozantinib versus everolimus in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Eur J Cancer 2020 02 27;126:1-10. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Cabozantinib improved progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR) compared with everolimus in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) after prior antiangiogenic therapy in the phase III METEOR trial (NCT01865747). Limited data are available on the use of targeted therapies in older patients with advanced RCC.

Methods: Efficacy and safety in METEOR were retrospectively analysed for three age subgroups: <65 (n = 394), 65-74 (n = 201) and ≥75 years (n = 63).

Results: PFS, OS and ORR were improved with cabozantinib compared with everolimus in all age subgroups. The PFS hazard ratios (HRs) were 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.41-0.68), 0.53 (95% CI: 0.37-0.77) and 0.38 (95% CI: 0.18-0.79) for <65, 65-74 and ≥75 years, respectively, and the OS HRs were 0.72 (95% CI: 0.54-0.95), 0.66 (95% CI: 0.44-0.99) and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.28-1.14). The ORR for cabozantinib versus everolimus was 15% vs 5%, 21% vs 2% and 19% vs 0%, respectively. No significant differences were observed in PFS or OS with age as a categorical or continuous variable. Grade III/IV adverse events (AEs) were generally consistent across subgroups, although fatigue, hypertension and hyponatraemia occurred more frequently in older patients treated with cabozantinib. Dose reductions to manage AEs were more frequent in patients receiving cabozantinib than in those receiving everolimus. Dose reductions and treatment discontinuation due to AEs were more frequent in older patients in both treatment groups.

Conclusions: Cabozantinib improved PFS, OS and ORR compared with everolimus in previously treated patients with advanced RCC, irrespective of age group, supporting use in all age categories. Proactive dose modification and supportive care may help to mitigate AEs in older patients while maintaining efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.10.032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521477PMC
February 2020
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