Publications by authors named "Daniel Castellano"

160 Publications

Efficacy and Safety of Cabazitaxel Versus Abiraterone or Enzalutamide in Older Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer in the CARD Study.

Eur Urol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Erasmus University Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: In the CARD study (NCT02485691), cabazitaxel significantly improved median radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) and overall survival (OS) versus abiraterone/enzalutamide in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who had previously received docetaxel and progressed ≤12 mo on the alternative agent (abiraterone/enzalutamide).

Objective: To assess cabazitaxel versus abiraterone/enzalutamide in older (≥70 yr) and younger (<70 yr) patients in CARD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Patients with mCRPC were randomized 1:1 to cabazitaxel (25 mg/m plus prednisone and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) versus abiraterone (1000 mg plus prednisone) or enzalutamide (160 mg).

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Analyses of rPFS (primary endpoint) and safety by age were prespecified; others were post hoc. Treatment groups were compared using stratified log-rank or Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests.

Results And Limitations: Of the 255 patients randomized, 135 were aged ≥70 yr (median 76 yr). Cabazitaxel, compared with abiraterone/enzalutamide, significantly improved median rPFS in older (8.2 vs 4.5 mo; hazard ratio [HR] = 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38-0.89; p = 0.012) and younger (7.4 vs 3.2 mo; HR = 0.47; 95% CI = 0.30-0.74; p < 0.001) patients. The median OS of cabazitaxel versus abiraterone/enzalutamide was 13.9 versus 9.4 mo in older patients (HR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.41-1.06; p = 0.084), and it was 13.6 versus 11.8 mo in younger patients (HR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.41-1.08; p = 0.093). Progression-free survival, prostate-specific antigen, and tumor and pain responses favored cabazitaxel, regardless of age. Grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred in 58% versus 49% of older patients receiving cabazitaxel versus abiraterone/enzalutamide and 48% versus 42% of younger patients. In older patients, cardiac adverse events were more frequent with abiraterone/enzalutamide; asthenia and diarrhea were more frequent with cabazitaxel.

Conclusions: Cabazitaxel improved efficacy outcomes versus abiraterone/enzalutamide in patients with mCRPC after prior docetaxel and abiraterone/enzalutamide, regardless of age. TEAEs were more frequent among older patients. The cabazitaxel safety profile was manageable across age groups.

Patient Summary: Clinical trial data showed that cabazitaxel improved survival versus abiraterone/enzalutamide with manageable side effects in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who had previously received docetaxel and the alternative agent (abiraterone/enzalutamide), irrespective of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.06.021DOI Listing
July 2021

Circulating Levels of the Interferon-γ-Regulated Chemokines CXCL10/CXCL11, IL-6 and HGF Predict Outcome in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients Treated with Antiangiogenic Therapy.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jun 7;13(11). Epub 2021 Jun 7.

IDISNA and Program in Solid Tumors, Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain.

Sunitinib and pazopanib are standard first-line treatments for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Nonetheless, as the number of treatment options increases, there is a need to identify biomarkers that can predict drug efficacy and toxicity. In this prospective study we evaluated a set of biomarkers that had been previously identified within a secretory signature in mRCC patients. This set includes tumor expression of c-Met and serum levels of HGF, IL-6, IL-8, CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11. Our cohort included 60 patients with mRCC from 10 different Spanish hospitals who received sunitinib ( = 51), pazopanib ( = 4) or both ( = 5). Levels of biomarkers were studied in relation to response rate, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). High tumor expression of c-Met and high basal serum levels of HGF, IL-6, CXCL11 and CXCL10 were significantly associated with reduced PFS and/or OS. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, CXCL11 was identified as an independent biomarker predictive of shorter PFS and OS, and HGF was an independent predictor of reduced PFS. Correlation analyses using our cohort of patients and patients from TCGA showed that HGF levels were significantly correlated with those of IL-6, CXCL11 and CXCL10. Bioinformatic protein-protein network analysis revealed a significant interaction between these proteins, all this suggesting a coordinated expression and secretion. We also developed a prognostic index that considers this group of biomarkers, where high values in mRCC patients can predict higher risk of relapse (HR 5.28 [2.32-12.0], < 0.0001). In conclusion, high plasma HGF, CXCL11, CXCL10 and IL-6 levels are associated with worse outcome in mRCC patients treated with sunitinib or pazopanib. Our findings also suggest that these factors may constitute a secretory cluster that acts coordinately to promote tumor growth and resistance to antiangiogenic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13112849DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8201218PMC
June 2021

Complete response and renal cell carcinoma in the immunotherapy era: The paradox of good news.

Cancer Treat Rev 2021 Jun 1;99:102239. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Medical Oncology Department, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Immune-checkpoint inhibitor-based therapy has revolutionized the natural history of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) providing better survival outcomes, higher rates of complete responses (CR) and durable remissions. Along with these advances, new challenges have emerged. RECIST and new immune-response criteria may be equivocal identifying complete responses. How to define a durable response and what is the optimal treatment duration remains unclear. Furthermore, the real value of a complete and deep response, whether or not it can be considered curation and whether or not immunotherapy discontinuation should be considered after complete response, are questions that remain open. The present article reviews the current evidence regarding the impact and challenges of managing complete and durable responses in mRCC treated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2021.102239DOI Listing
June 2021

ctDNA guiding adjuvant immunotherapy in urothelial carcinoma.

Nature 2021 Jul 16;595(7867):432-437. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Roche/Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Minimally invasive approaches to detect residual disease after surgery are needed to identify patients with cancer who are at risk for metastatic relapse. Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) holds promise as a biomarker for molecular residual disease and relapse. We evaluated outcomes in 581 patients who had undergone surgery and were evaluable for ctDNA from a randomized phase III trial of adjuvant atezolizumab versus observation in operable urothelial cancer. This trial did not reach its efficacy end point in the intention-to-treat population. Here we show that ctDNA testing at the start of therapy (cycle 1 day 1) identified 214 (37%) patients who were positive for ctDNA and who had poor prognosis (observation arm hazard ratio = 6.3 (95% confidence interval: 4.45-8.92); P < 0.0001). Notably, patients who were positive for ctDNA had improved disease-free survival and overall survival in the atezolizumab arm versus the observation arm (disease-free survival hazard ratio = 0.58 (95% confidence interval: 0.43-0.79); P = 0.0024, overall survival hazard ratio = 0.59 (95% confidence interval: 0.41-0.86)). No difference in disease-free survival or overall survival between treatment arms was noted for patients who were negative for ctDNA. The rate of ctDNA clearance at week 6 was higher in the atezolizumab arm (18%) than in the observation arm (4%) (P = 0.0204). Transcriptomic analysis of tumours from patients who were positive for ctDNA revealed higher expression levels of cell-cycle and keratin genes. For patients who were positive for ctDNA and who were treated with atezolizumab, non-relapse was associated with immune response signatures and basal-squamous gene features, whereas relapse was associated with angiogenesis and fibroblast TGFβ signatures. These data suggest that adjuvant atezolizumab may be associated with improved outcomes compared with observation in patients who are positive for ctDNA and who are at a high risk of relapse. These findings, if validated in other settings, would shift approaches to postoperative cancer care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03642-9DOI Listing
July 2021

Safety and Efficacy of Atezolizumab in Understudied Populations with Pretreated Urinary Tract Carcinoma: Subgroup Analyses of the SAUL Study in Real-World Practice.

J Urol 2021 08 9;206(2):240-251. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals, Rome, Italy (present address: Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, Meyer Cancer Center, New York, USA).

Purpose: Atezolizumab is an established treatment option for pretreated urothelial carcinoma, demonstrating efficacy in phase II/III trials. The SAUL study enrolled a broader patient population to determine safety and efficacy in underrepresented subgroups.

Materials And Methods: Patients with metastatic urinary tract carcinoma received atezolizumab 1,200 mg every 3 weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, loss of clinical benefit, or patient/physician decision. The primary endpoint was safety. Efficacy was a secondary endpoint. Analyses by programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) status, age, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) and renal impairment were prespecified; post hoc analyses explored outcomes by tumor location.

Results: A total of 1,004 patients were enrolled. Subgroup analyses in patients with older age, renal impairment, or upper tract urothelial carcinoma showed safety and efficacy similar to those in patients without these characteristics. Patients with ECOG PS 2 had clinical features typically associated with aggressive disease; median overall survival was 2.3 months versus 10.0 months in patients with ECOG PS0/1. Patients with PD-L1 expression on ≥5% of tumor-infiltrating immune cells tended to have better outcomes than those with <5% PD-L1 expression, although conclusions on the relative efficacy of atezolizumab cannot be drawn from this single-arm study.

Conclusions: The understudied populations included in the SAUL study had similar outcomes to those in more selected populations included in phase II/III trials of atezolizumab, except for those with ECOG PS 2. Age ≥80 years and/or creatinine clearance <30 ml/minute does not preclude administration of atezolizumab; however, treatment risk versus benefit must be carefully assessed in patients with ECOG PS 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001768DOI Listing
August 2021

Cabazitaxel versus abiraterone or enzalutamide in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: post hoc analysis of the CARD study excluding chemohormonal therapy for castrate-naive disease.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department Medical Oncology, Erasmus University Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: In the CARD study (NCT02485691), cabazitaxel significantly improved clinical outcomes versus abiraterone or enzalutamide in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer previously treated with docetaxel and the alternative androgen-signalling-targeted inhibitor. However, some patients received docetaxel or the prior alternative androgen-signalling-targeted inhibitor in the metastatic hormone-sensitive (mHSPC) setting. Therefore, the CARD results cannot be directly translated to a Japanese population.

Methods: Patients (N = 255) received cabazitaxel (25 mg/m2 IV Q3W, prednisone, G-CSF) versus abiraterone (1000 mg PO, prednisone) or enzalutamide (160 mg PO) after prior docetaxel and progression ≤12 months on the alternative androgen-signalling-targeted inhibitor. Patients who received combination therapy for mHSPC were excluded (n = 33) as docetaxel is not approved in this setting in Japan.

Results: A total of 222 patients (median age 70 years) were included in this subanalysis. Median number of cycles was higher for cabazitaxel versus androgen-signalling-targeted inhibitors (7 versus 4). Clinical outcomes favoured cabazitaxel over abiraterone or enzalutamide including, radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS; median 8.2 versus 3.4 months; P < 0.0001), overall survival (OS; 13.9 versus 11.8 months; P = 0.0102), PFS (4.4 versus 2.7 months; P < 0.0001), confirmed prostate-specific antigen response (37.0 versus 14.4%; P = 0.0006) and objective tumour response (38.9 versus 11.4%; P = 0.0036). For cabazitaxel versus androgen-signalling-targeted inhibitor, grade ≥ 3 adverse events occurred in 55% versus 44% of patients, with adverse events leading to death on study in 2.7% versus 5.7%.

Conclusions: Cabazitaxel significantly improved outcomes including rPFS and OS versus abiraterone or enzalutamide and are reflective of the Japanese patient population. Cabazitaxel should be considered the preferred treatment option over abiraterone or enzalutamide in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyab028DOI Listing
March 2021

Adjuvant atezolizumab versus observation in muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma (IMvigor010): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 04 12;22(4):525-537. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK.

Background: Despite standard curative-intent treatment with neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy, followed by radical surgery in eligible patients, muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma has a high recurrence rate and no level 1 evidence for adjuvant therapy. We aimed to evaluate atezolizumab as adjuvant therapy in patients with high-risk muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma.

Method: In the IMvigor010 study, a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial done in 192 hospitals, academic centres, and community oncology practices across 24 countries or regions, patients aged 18 years and older with histologically confirmed muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0, 1, or 2 were enrolled within 14 weeks after radical cystectomy or nephroureterectomy with lymph node dissection. Patients had ypT2-4a or ypN+ tumours following neoadjuvant chemotherapy or pT3-4a or pN+ tumours if no neoadjuvant chemotherapy was received. Patients not treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy must have been ineligible for or declined cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy. No post-surgical radiotherapy or previous adjuvant chemotherapy was allowed. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) using a permuted block (block size of four) method and interactive voice-web response system to receive 1200 mg atezolizumab given intravenously every 3 weeks for 16 cycles or up to 1 year, whichever occurred first, or to observation. Randomisation was stratified by previous neoadjuvant chemotherapy use, number of lymph nodes resected, pathological nodal status, tumour stage, and PD-L1 expression on tumour-infiltrating immune cells. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in patients who either received at least one dose of atezolizumab or had at least one post-baseline safety assessment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02450331, and is ongoing but not recruiting patients.

Findings: Between Oct 5, 2015, and July 30, 2018, we enrolled 809 patients, of whom 406 were assigned to the atezolizumab group and 403 were assigned to the observation group. Median follow-up was 21·9 months (IQR 13·2-29·8). Median disease-free survival was 19·4 months (95% CI 15·9-24·8) with atezolizumab and 16·6 months (11·2-24·8) with observation (stratified hazard ratio 0·89 [95% CI 0·74-1·08]; p=0·24). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were urinary tract infection (31 [8%] of 390 patients in the atezolizumab group vs 20 [5%] of 397 patients in the observation group), pyelonephritis (12 [3%]) vs 14 [4%]), and anaemia (eight [2%] vs seven [2%]). Serious adverse events occurred in 122 (31%) patients who received atezolizumab and 71 (18%) who underwent observation. 63 (16%) patients who received atezolizumab had a treatment-related grade 3 or 4 adverse event. One treatment-related death, due to acute respiratory distress syndrome, occurred in the atezolizumab group.

Interpretation: To our knowledge, IMvigor010 is the largest, first-completed phase 3 adjuvant study to evaluate the role of a checkpoint inhibitor in muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma. The trial did not meet its primary endpoint of improved disease-free survival in the atezolizumab group over observation. Atezolizumab was generally tolerable, with no new safety signals; however, higher frequencies of adverse events leading to discontinuation were reported than in metastatic urothelial carcinoma studies. These data do not support the use of adjuvant checkpoint inhibitor therapy in the setting evaluated in IMvigor010 at this time.

Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00004-8DOI Listing
April 2021

Efficacy and safety of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 combinations versus standard of care in cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Oncoimmunology 2021 02 23;10(1):1878599. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Medical Oncology Department, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) as monotherapy in different solid tumors showed an early detrimental effect in a subset of patients reflected by the early crossover of the progression-free survival (PFS) curves. Currently, combination therapies with ICIs added to chemotherapy or targeted therapy are expanding the landscape of metastatic solid tumors. We have examined the benefits and risks of adding ICIs to the standard of care (SOC) versus SOC alone. A search of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) comparing ICIs combinations versus the corresponding SOC in different metastatic tumors according to the PRISMA guidelines was performed. Selected endpoints included PFS, time-to-response (TTR), overall survival (OS), overall response rate (ORR), and ≥ grade 3 adverse events (AEs). Subgroup analyses based on backbone treatment and tumor type were included. A total of 10536 patients (19 studies) were included (ICIs-arm: 5596 patients; SOC-arm: 4940 patients). Globally, PFS, OS, and ORR results favored ICIs-arm. No differences in terms of TTR were found between arms. ICI-arm was associated with a slight increase of ≥ G3 AEs (relative risk: 1.07). The results in multiple myeloma patients are controversial in favor of ICIs combinations. Adding ICIs to SOC benefits a greater number of patients, prolonging survival with no early detrimental effect. The toxicity profile is safe, with a mild increase of high-grade manageable AEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2021.1878599DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906255PMC
February 2021

Toxicity and Surgical Complication Rates of Neoadjuvant Atezolizumab in Patients with Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer Undergoing Radical Cystectomy: Updated Safety Results from the ABACUS Trial.

Eur Urol Oncol 2021 Jun 18;4(3):456-463. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Barts Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: There are limited data on toxicity and surgical safety associated with neoadjuvant programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors prior to radical cystectomy (RC) in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).

Objective: To present a comprehensive safety analysis of the largest neoadjuvant series, with focus on timing and severity of toxicity and surgical complications occurring after neoadjuvant atezolizumab in patients with MIBC enrolled in the ABACUS trial.

Design, Setting, And Participants: ABACUS (NCT02662309) is an open-label, multicenter, phase II trial for patients with histologically confirmed (T2-T4aN0M0) MIBC, awaiting RC. Patients either were ineligible or refused cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Intervention: Two cycles of neoadjuvant atezolizumab (1200 mg, every 3 wk) followed by RC.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Description of atezolizumab toxicity profile in the neoadjuvant setting, impact on surgery, and delayed immune-mediated adverse events (AEs) were assessed.

Results And Limitations: Ninety-five patients received treatment. Of them, 44% (42/95) had atezolizumab-related AEs during the neoadjuvant period (fatigue [20%], decreased appetite [6%], and transaminases increased [6%]). Treatment-related grade 3-5 AEs occurred in 11% (10/95) of patients during the study. Of the patients, 21% (20/95) received only one cycle of atezolizumab due to AEs; 92% (87/95) underwent RC. No surgery was delayed due to atezolizumab-related toxicities. Surgical complications occurred in 62% (54/87) of patients. Of these patients, 43% (37/87) and 20% (17/87) had minor (grade 1-2) and major (grade 3-5) complications, respectively. Thirteen of 87 (15%) patients had post-RC atezolizumab-related AEs, including adrenal insufficiency and transaminases increased. Three deaths occurred during the period of study-related interventions (one non-treatment-related aspiration pneumonia, one immune-related myocardial infarction, and one cardiogenic shock after RC). Not all surgical safety parameters were available.

Conclusions: Two cycles of neoadjuvant atezolizumab are well tolerated and do not seem to impact surgical complication rates. Owing to the long half-life, AEs may occur in the postoperative period, including endocrine abnormalities requiring attention and intervention.

Patient Summary: Here, we report a comprehensive dataset of patients receiving neoadjuvant immune checkpoint inhibitors before radical cystectomy. Treatment with neoadjuvant atezolizumab is safe and does not seem to complicate surgery significantly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.11.010DOI Listing
June 2021

Enfortumab Vedotin in Previously Treated Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma.

N Engl J Med 2021 03 12;384(12):1125-1135. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

From Barts Cancer Centre, Queen Mary University of London, London (T.P.); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (J.E.R.); Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston (G.P.S.); Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France (Y.L.); Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Valdecilla, Cantabria (I.D.), and Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid (D.C.) - both in Spain; Asan Medical Center and University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea (J.-L.L.); National Cancer Center Hospital East, Chiba, Japan (N.M.); the Center for Oncological Research, University of Antwerp, Integrated Cancer Center Ghent, Ghent, Belgium (C.V.); Astellas Pharma, Northbrook, IL (C.W., M.M.); Seagen, Bothell, WA (M.C.); and Smilow Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (D.P.P.).

Background: Patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma have poor overall survival after platinum-containing chemotherapy and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor treatment.

Methods: We conducted a global, open-label, phase 3 trial of enfortumab vedotin for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who had previously received platinum-containing chemotherapy and had had disease progression during or after treatment with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive enfortumab vedotin (at a dose of 1.25 mg per kilogram of body weight on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle) or investigator-chosen chemotherapy (standard docetaxel, paclitaxel, or vinflunine), administered on day 1 of a 21-day cycle. The primary end point was overall survival.

Results: A total of 608 patients underwent randomization; 301 were assigned to receive enfortumab vedotin and 307 to receive chemotherapy. As of July 15, 2020, a total of 301 deaths had occurred (134 in the enfortumab vedotin group and 167 in the chemotherapy group). At the prespecified interim analysis, the median follow-up was 11.1 months. Overall survival was longer in the enfortumab vedotin group than in the chemotherapy group (median overall survival, 12.88 vs. 8.97 months; hazard ratio for death, 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.89; P = 0.001). Progression-free survival was also longer in the enfortumab vedotin group than in the chemotherapy group (median progression-free survival, 5.55 vs. 3.71 months; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.75; P<0.001). The incidence of treatment-related adverse events was similar in the two groups (93.9% in the enfortumab vedotin group and 91.8% in the chemotherapy group); the incidence of events of grade 3 or higher was also similar in the two groups (51.4% and 49.8%, respectively).

Conclusions: Enfortumab vedotin significantly prolonged survival as compared with standard chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who had previously received platinum-based treatment and a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. (Funded by Astellas Pharma US and Seagen; EV-301 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03474107.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2035807DOI Listing
March 2021

Immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced upper and lower tract urothelial carcinoma: a comparison of outcomes.

BJU Int 2021 Feb 8. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Objectives: To compare clinical outcomes between patients with locally advanced (unresectable) or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (aUC) in the upper and lower urinary tract receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).

Patients And Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study collecting clinicopathological, treatment, and outcome data for patients with aUC receiving ICIs from 2013 to 2020 across 24 institutions. We compared the objective response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) between patients with upper and lower tract UC (UTUC, LTUC). Uni- and multivariable logistic and Cox regression were used to assess the effect of UTUC on ORR, OS, and PFS. Subgroup analyses were performed stratified based on histology (pure, mixed) and line of treatment (first line, subsequent line).

Results: Out of a total of 746 eligible patients, 707, 717, and 738 were included in the ORR, OS, and PFS analyses, respectively. Our results did not contradict the hypothesis that patients with UTUC and LTUC had similar ORRs (24% vs 28%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43-1.24), OS (median 9.8 vs 9.6 months; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.93, 95% CI 0.73-1.19), and PFS (median 4.3 vs 4.1 months; aHR 1.01, 95% CI 0.81-1.27). Patients with mixed-histology UTUC had a significantly lower ORR and shorter PFS vs mixed-histology LTUC (aOR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05-0.91 and aHR 1.66, 95% CI 1.06-2.59), respectively).

Conclusion: Overall, patients with UTUC and LTUC receiving ICIs have comparable treatment response and outcomes. Subgroup analyses based on histology showed that those with mixed-histology UTUC had a lower ORR and shorter PFS compared to mixed-histology LTUC. Further studies and evaluation of molecular biomarkers can help refine patient selection for immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15324DOI Listing
February 2021

Outcomes of systemic targeted therapy in recurrent renal cell carcinoma treated with adjuvant sunitinib.

BJU Int 2021 Feb 6. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

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

Objective: To assess the efficacy and tolerability of rechallenge with sunitinib and other targeted therapies (TTs) in patitents with relapsed recurrent renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the advanced setting.

Methods: In this multi-institutional retrospective study, patients with relapsed RCC were rechallenged with sunitinib or other systemic TTs as a first-line therapeutic approach after failed adjuvant sunitinib treatment. Patient characteristics, treatments and clinical outcomes were recorded. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints were objective response rate (ORR) and overall survival (OS).

Results: A total of 34 patients with relapses were recorded, and 25 of these (73.5%) were men. Twenty-five patients were treated with systemic TT: 65% of patients received TT against the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway (including sunitinib), 21.7% received mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors and 13% received immunotherapy. The median (interquartile range) time to relapse was 20.3 (5.2-20.4) months from diagnosis, and 7.5 months (1.0-8.5) from the end of adjuvant suntinib treatment. At a median follow-up of 23.5 months, 24 of the 25 patients had progressed on first-line systemic therapy. The median PFS was 12.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.78-18.2). There were no statistical differences in PFS between different treatments or sunitinib rechallenge. PFS was not statistically different in patients relapsing on or after adjuvant suntinib treatment (≤ 6 or >6 months after adjuvant suntinib ending). The ORR was 20.5%. The median OS was 29.1 months (95% CI 16.4-41.8).

Conclusions: Rechallenge with sunitinib or other systemic therapies is still a feasible therapeutic option that provides patients with advanced or metastastic RCC with additional clinical benefits with regard to PFS and OS after failed response to adjuvant sunitinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15356DOI Listing
February 2021

Open-Label, Single-Arm, Phase II Study of Pembrolizumab Monotherapy as First-Line Therapy in Patients With Advanced Non-Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 2;39(9):1029-1039. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC.

Purpose: Programmed death 1 (PD-1) pathway inhibitors have not been prospectively evaluated in patients with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (nccRCC). The phase II KEYNOTE-427 study (cohort B) was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of single-agent pembrolizumab, a PD-1 inhibitor, in advanced nccRCC.

Methods: Patients with histologically confirmed, measurable (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST] version 1.1) nccRCC and no prior systemic therapy received pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously once every 3 weeks for ≤ 24 months. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR) per RECIST v1.1.

Results: Among enrolled patients (N = 165), 71.5% had confirmed papillary, 12.7% had chromophobe, and 15.8% had unclassified RCC histology. Most patients (67.9%) had intermediate or poor International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium risk status and tumors with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 1 (61.8%). The median time from enrollment to database cutoff was 31.5 months (range, 22.7-38.8). In all patients, the ORR was 26.7%. The median duration of response was 29.0 months; 59.7% of responses lasted ≥ 12 months. The ORR by CPS ≥ 1 and CPS < 1 status was 35.3% and 12.1%, respectively. The ORR by histology was 28.8% for papillary, 9.5% for chromophobe, and 30.8% for unclassified. Overall, the median progression-free survival was 4.2 months (95% CI, 2.9 to 5.6); the 24-month rate was 18.6%. The median overall survival was 28.9 months (95% CI, 24.3 months to not reached); the 24-month rate was 58.4%. Overall, 69.7% of patients reported treatment-related adverse events, most commonly pruritus (20.0%) and hypothyroidism (14.5%). Two deaths were treatment related (pneumonitis and cardiac arrest).

Conclusion: First-line pembrolizumab monotherapy showed promising antitumor activity in nccRCC. The safety profile was similar to that observed in other tumor types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02365DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078262PMC
March 2021

A New Prognostic Model in Patients with Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma Treated with First-line Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.

Eur Urol Oncol 2021 Jun 7;4(3):464-472. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: While immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are approved in the first-line (1L) setting for cisplatin-unfit patients with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-high tumors or for platinum (cisplatin/carboplatin)-unfit patients, response rates remain modest and outcomes vary with no clinically useful biomarkers (except for PD-L1).

Objective: We aimed to develop a prognostic model for overall survival (OS) in patients receiving 1L ICIs for advanced urothelial cancer (aUC) in a multicenter cohort study.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Patients treated with 1L ICIs for aUC across 24 institutions and five countries (in the USA and Europe) outside clinical trials were included in this study.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: We used a stepwise, hypothesis-driven approach using clinician-selected covariates to develop a new risk score for patients receiving ICIs in the 1L setting. Demographics, clinicopathologic data, treatment patterns, and OS were collected uniformly. Univariate Cox regression was performed on 18 covariates hypothesized to be associated with OS based on published data. Variables were retained for multivariate analysis (MVA) if they correlated with OS (p < 0.2) and were included in the final model if p < 0.05 on MVA. Retained covariates were assigned points based on the beta coefficient to create a risk score. Stratified median OS and C-statistic were calculated.

Results And Limitations: Among 984 patients, 357 with a mean age of 71 yr were included in the analysis, 27% were female, 68% had pure UC, and 13% had upper tract UC. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥2, albumin <3.5 g/dl, neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio >5, and liver metastases were significant prognostic factors on MVA and were included in the risk score. C index for new 1L risk score was 0.68 (95% confidence interval 0.65-0.71). Limitations include retrospective nature and lack of external validation.

Conclusions: We developed a new 1L ICI risk score for OS based on data from patients with aUC treated with ICIs in the USA and Europe outside of clinical trials. The score components highlight readily available factors related to tumor biology and treatment response. External validation is being pursued.

Patient Summary: With multiple new treatments under development and approved for advanced urothelial carcinoma, it can be difficult to identify the best treatment sequence for each patient. The risk score may help inform treatment discussions and estimate outcomes in patients treated with first-line immune checkpoint inhibitors, while it can also impact clinical trial design and endpoints. TAKE  HOME MESSAGE: A new risk score was developed for advanced urothelial carcinoma treated with first-line immune checkpoint inhibitors. The score assigned Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥2, albumin <3.5 g/dl, neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio >5, and liver metastases each one point, with a higher score being associated with worse overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.12.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169524PMC
June 2021

A case series of advanced renal cell carcinoma patients treated with neoadjuvant cabozantinib prior to cytoreductive nephrectomy within the phase 2 CABOPRE trial.

Oncotarget 2020 Nov 24;11(47):4457-4462. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Cytoreductive nephrectomy has long been used to improve disease control in metastastic Renal Cell Carcinoma (mRCC). However, based on the results of the CARMENA and SURTIME trials, cytoreductive nephrectomy is no longer the standard of care in patients requiring upfront systemic treatment and it should be avoided in most poor-risk patients. Nevertheless, it should still be considered in patients responding to systemic therapy and good-risk patients not requiring systemic treatment. This case series of the phase 2 CABOPRE trial suggests neoadjuvant cabozantinib may be able to induce rapid and significant responses in some intermediate-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma patients facilitating resectability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7720770PMC
November 2020

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib for first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma: extended 4-year follow-up of the phase III CheckMate 214 trial.

ESMO Open 2020 11;5(6):e001079

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

Purpose: To report updated analyses of the phase III CheckMate 214 trial with extended minimum follow-up assessing long-term outcomes with first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab (NIVO+IPI) versus (vs) sunitinib (SUN) in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC).

Methods: Patients with aRCC with a clear cell component were stratified by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium risk and randomised to NIVO (3 mg/kg) plus IPI (1 mg/kg) every three weeks ×4 doses, followed by NIVO (3 mg/kg) every two weeks; or SUN (50 mg) once per day ×4 weeks (6-week cycle). Efficacy endpoints included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) per independent radiology review committee in patients with intermediate/poor-risk disease (I/P; primary), intent-to-treat patients (ITT; secondary) and in patients with favourable-risk disease (FAV; exploratory).

Results: Overall, 1096 patients were randomised (ITT: NIVO+IPI, n=550, SUN, n=546; I/P: NIVO+IPI, n=425, SUN, n=422; FAV: NIVO+IPI, n=125, SUN, n=124). After 4 years minimum follow-up, OS (HR; 95% CI) remained superior with NIVO+IPI vs SUN in ITT (0.69; 0.59 to 0.81) and I/P patients (0.65; 0.54 to 0.78). Four-year PFS probabilities were 31.0% vs 17.3% (ITT) and 32.7% vs 12.3% (I/P), with NIVO+IPI vs SUN. ORR remained higher with NIVO+IPI vs SUN in ITT (39.1% vs 32.4%) and I/P (41.9% vs 26.8%) patients. In FAV patients, the HRs (95% CI) for OS and PFS were 0.93 (0.62 to 1.40) and 1.84 (1.29 to 2.62); ORR was lower with NIVO+IPI vs SUN. However, more patients in all risk groups achieved complete responses with NIVO+IPI: ITT (10.7% vs 2.6%), I/P (10.4% vs 1.4%) and FAV (12.0% vs 6.5%). Probability (95% CI) of response ≥4 years was higher with NIVO+IPI vs SUN (ITT, 59% (0.51 to 0.66) vs 30% (0.21 to 0.39); I/P, 59% (0.50 to 0.67) vs 24% (0.14 to 0.36); and FAV, 60% (0.41 to 0.75) vs 38% (0.22 to 0.54)) regardless of risk category. Safety remained favourable with NIVO+IPI vs SUN.

Conclusion: After long-term follow-up, NIVO+IPI continues to demonstrate durable efficacy benefits vs SUN, with manageable safety.

Trial Registration Details: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02231749.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-001079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7703447PMC
November 2020

Systemic Analysis and Review of Nivolumab-ipilimumab Combination as a Rescue Strategy for Renal Cell Carcinoma After Treatment With Anti-PD-1/PD-L1 Therapy.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2021 04 15;19(2):95-102. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Medical Oncology Department, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Nivolumab-ipilimumab has become the standard of care in the frontline setting for intermediate-/poor-risk metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). This regimen is associated with survival improvement but significant toxicity. Anti-programmed cell death protein 1(PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1(PD-L1) monotherapy may provide response and offers a better safety profile. In this context, nivolumab-ipilimumab has been postulated as a rescue treatment after anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. Recent retrospective data has shown positive results, and several nonrandomized clinical trials (NRCTs) have evaluated this strategy. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of available NRCTs to clarify the efficacy and safety of salvage nivolumab-ipilimumab in mRCC after prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy. We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to identify clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of salvage nivolumab-ipilimumab after prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 in patients with mRCC. Only phase II NRCTs were available for the analysis. The pooled effect of single proportions with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was used as the measure of effect (overall response rate [ORR] and incidence of grade ≥ 3 adverse events). Four studies accounting for 237 patients were included. All patients received prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy. The pooled ORR of salvage nivolumab-ipilimumab after prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 failure was 10.0% (95% CI, 6%-14%; I = 41%; P = .17). The incidence of grade ≥ 3 irAEs was 27.0% (95% CI, 20%-35%; I = 0%; P = .56). The results of this analysis suggest that the use of salvage nivolumab-ipilimumab in mRCC after prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 has limited activity with a 10% ORR, and a non-negligible toxicity with 1 of 4 patients developing grade ≥ 3 immune-related adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.10.004DOI Listing
April 2021

Partial Response and Stable Disease Correlate with Positive Outcomes in Atezolizumab-treated Patients with Advanced Urinary Tract Carcinoma.

Eur Urol Focus 2020 Nov 6. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals, Rome, Italy.

Background: The value of a complete response to immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment for urothelial cancer is well recognised, but less is known about long-term outcomes in patients with a partial response or the benefit of achieving disease stabilisation.

Objective: To determine clinical outcomes in patients with a partial response or stable disease on atezolizumab therapy for advanced urinary tract carcinoma (UTC).

Design, Setting, And Participants: Data were extracted from three prospective trials (IMvigor210 cohort 2, SAUL, and IMvigor211) evaluating single-agent atezolizumab therapy for platinum-pretreated advanced UTC. The analysis population included 604 atezolizumab-treated and 208 chemotherapy-treated patients (229 achieving a partial response and 583 achieving stable disease).

Intervention: Atezolizumab 1200 mg every 3 wk until progression or unacceptable toxicity or single-agent chemotherapy for patients in the control arm of IMvigor211.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Baseline characteristics, treatment exposure, overall survival, duration of disease control. Partial response and stable disease populations were analysed separately.

Results And Limitations: The population of patients with a partial response included more patients with programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on ≥5% of tumour-infiltrating immune cells than the stable disease population. The median time to best response was 2.1 mo across trials and treatments, regardless of the type of response. Atezolizumab-treated patients with a partial response had sustained disease control (median overall survival not reached); durations of disease control and overall survival were longer with atezolizumab than with chemotherapy. In patients with stable disease, median overall survival was numerically longer with atezolizumab (exceeding 1 yr) than with chemotherapy. Irrespective of treatment, durations of disease control and survival were shorter in patients with stable disease than in those achieving a partial response. These analyses are limited by their post hoc exploratory nature and relatively short follow-up.

Conclusions: Stable disease and partial response are meaningful clinical outcomes in atezolizumab-treated patients with advanced UTC.

Patient Summary: In this report, we looked at the outcomes in patients whose tumours responded to treatment to some extent, but the tumour did not disappear completely. We aimed to understand whether a modest response to treatment was associated with meaningful long-term outcomes for patients. We found that on average, life expectancy was >1 yr in patients whose disease was stabilised and even longer in those whose tumours showed some shrinkage in response to treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2020.10.009DOI Listing
November 2020

A Risk-benefit Analysis of Prophylactic Anticoagulation for Patients with Metastatic Germ Cell Tumours Undergoing First-line Chemotherapy.

Eur Urol Focus 2020 Oct 6. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Hematology Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: It remains unclear which patients with metastatic germ cell tumours (mGCTs) need prophylactic anticoagulation to prevent venous thromboembolic events (VTEs).

Objective: To assess the risk and onset of VTEs stratified by risk factors.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multi-institutional retrospective dataset included mGCT patients treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.

Intervention: Patients with prophylactic anticoagulation were excluded.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: A regression analysis was performed to select risk factors for VTEs. The simulated number needed to treat (NNT) and the number needed to harm (NNH) with prophylactic anticoagulation were calculated based on the cumulative incidences retrieved from this study and hazard rates of recently published trials describing the efficacy of prophylactic anticoagulation to prevent VTEs and the risk of bleeding events.

Results And Limitations: From 1120 patients, 121 (11%) had a VTE, which occurred prior to chemotherapy in 49 (4%) and on or after chemotherapy in 72 (6%). Six patients (<1%) had a bleeding event without anticoagulation. After backward regression, the one risk factor for a VTE during or after chemotherapy was the use of a venous access device. The simulated cumulative VTE incidence from prophylactic anticoagulation for patients on or after chemotherapy would translate into an NNT of 45 (95% confidence interval [CI] 36-56) and an NNH of 186 (95% CI 87-506). Limitations are mainly related to the retrospective nature of the study.

Conclusions: The mGCTs associated VTEs are most common before and during, but not after, chemotherapy. Avoiding venous access device and/or prophylactic anticoagulation with an acceptable risk-benefit profile may decrease VTE occurring on chemotherapy.

Patient Summary: We found that venous thromboembolic events (VTEs) occur rarely after chemotherapy. Based on experience of prophylactic anticoagulation in other cancers, we conclude that the risk of VTE in men undergoing chemotherapy for metastatic germ cell tumours can be decreased by thromboprophylaxis with a reasonable risk-benefit profile and by avoidance of venous access devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2020.09.017DOI Listing
October 2020

Durvalumab alone and durvalumab plus tremelimumab versus chemotherapy in previously untreated patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (DANUBE): a randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 12 21;21(12):1574-1588. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and PSMAR-IMIM Research Lab, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Survival outcomes are poor for patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma who receive standard, first-line, platinum-based chemotherapy. We assessed the overall survival of patients who received durvalumab (a PD-L1 inhibitor), with or without tremelimumab (a CTLA-4 inhibitor), as a first-line treatment for metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

Methods: DANUBE is an open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial in patients with untreated, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, conducted at 224 academic research centres, hospitals, and oncology clinics in 23 countries. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. We randomly assigned patients (1:1:1) to receive durvalumab monotherapy (1500 mg) administered intravenously every 4 weeks; durvalumab (1500 mg) plus tremelimumab (75 mg) administered intravenously every 4 weeks for up to four doses, followed by durvalumab maintenance (1500 mg) every 4 weeks; or standard-of-care chemotherapy (gemcitabine plus cisplatin or gemcitabine plus carboplatin, depending on cisplatin eligibility) administered intravenously for up to six cycles. Randomisation was done through an interactive voice-web response system, with stratification by cisplatin eligibility, PD-L1 status, and presence or absence of liver metastases, lung metastases, or both. The coprimary endpoints were overall survival compared between the durvalumab monotherapy versus chemotherapy groups in the population of patients with high PD-L1 expression (the high PD-L1 population) and between the durvalumab plus tremelimumab versus chemotherapy groups in the intention-to-treat population (all randomly assigned patients). The study has completed enrolment and the final analysis of overall survival is reported. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02516241, and the EU Clinical Trials Register, EudraCT number 2015-001633-24.

Findings: Between Nov 24, 2015, and March 21, 2017, we randomly assigned 1032 patients to receive durvalumab (n=346), durvalumab plus tremelimumab (n=342), or chemotherapy (n=344). At data cutoff (Jan 27, 2020), median follow-up for survival was 41·2 months (IQR 37·9-43·2) for all patients. In the high PD-L1 population, median overall survival was 14·4 months (95% CI 10·4-17·3) in the durvalumab monotherapy group (n=209) versus 12·1 months (10·4-15·0) in the chemotherapy group (n=207; hazard ratio 0·89, 95% CI 0·71-1·11; p=0·30). In the intention-to-treat population, median overall survival was 15·1 months (13·1-18·0) in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group versus 12·1 months (10·9-14·0) in the chemotherapy group (0·85, 95% CI 0·72-1·02; p=0·075). In the safety population, grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 47 (14%) of 345 patients in the durvalumab group, 93 (27%) of 340 patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group, and in 188 (60%) of 313 patients in the chemotherapy group. The most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse event was increased lipase in the durvalumab group (seven [2%] of 345 patients) and in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group (16 [5%] of 340 patients), and neutropenia in the chemotherapy group (66 [21%] of 313 patients). Serious treatment-related adverse events occurred in 30 (9%) of 345 patients in the durvalumab group, 78 (23%) of 340 patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group, and 50 (16%) of 313 patients in the chemotherapy group. Deaths due to study drug toxicity were reported in two (1%) patients in the durvalumab group (acute hepatic failure and hepatitis), two (1%) patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group (septic shock and pneumonitis), and one (<1%) patient in the chemotherapy group (acute kidney injury).

Interpretation: This study did not meet either of its coprimary endpoints. Further research to identify the patients with previously untreated metastatic urothelial carcinoma who benefit from treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, either alone or in combination regimens, is warranted.

Funding: AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30541-6DOI Listing
December 2020

PIVOT-10: Phase II study of bempegaldesleukin plus nivolumab in cisplatin-ineligible advanced urothelial cancer.

Future Oncol 2021 Jan 17;17(2):137-149. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, INSERM 981, Institute Gustave Roussy, 94 805 Villejuif Cedex, France.

The choice of first-line therapy for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) is based on cisplatin-eligibility and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) status. For patients with mUC who are ineligible for cisplatin and with low PD-L1 expression, chemotherapy-based regimens are the only approved first-line option. In a Phase I/II trial of the chemotherapy-free regimen, bempegaldesleukin (BEMPEG; NKTR-214) plus nivolumab, patients with locally advanced or mUC experienced tumor responses regardless of baseline PD-L1 expression (objective response rates: 50 and 45% in patients with PD-L1-positive and -negative tumors, respectively). The Phase II PIVOT-10 study (NCT03785925), evaluates efficacy and safety of first-line BEMPEG plus nivolumab in cisplatin-ineligible patients with locally advanced or mUC. Most patients will have low PD-L1 expression. Primary end point: objective response rates (including complete response).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0795DOI Listing
January 2021

Sequencing of PD-1/L1 Inhibitors and Carboplatin Based Chemotherapy for Cisplatin Ineligible Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma.

J Urol 2021 02 16;205(2):414-419. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: Current first line treatment options in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma unfit to receive cisplatin containing chemotherapy include PD-1/L1 inhibitors and carboplatin containing chemotherapy. However, the optimal sequencing of these therapies remains unclear.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a multicenter retrospective analysis. Consecutive cisplatin ineligible patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma treated with first line carboplatin containing chemotherapy followed sequentially by second line PD-1/L1 inhibitor, or the reverse order, were included. Patient demographics, objective response, time to treatment failure for first line and second line therapy, interval between end of first line and initiation of second line treatment (Interval) and overall survival were collected. Multivariate analysis was conducted to examine the association of sequencing on overall survival.

Results: In this multicenter retrospective study we identified 146 cisplatin ineligible patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma treated with first line PD-1/L1 inhibitor therapy followed by second line carboplatin containing chemotherapy (group 1, 43) or the reverse sequence (group 2, 103). In the overall cohort median age was 72, 76% were men and 18% had liver metastasis. In both groups objective response rates were higher with carboplatin containing chemotherapy (45.6% first line, 44.2% second line) compared to PD-1/L1 inhibitors (9.3% first line, 21.3% second line). On multivariate analysis treatment sequence was not associated with overall survival (HR 1.05, p=0.85). Site of metastasis was the only factor significantly associated with overall survival (p=0.002).

Conclusions: In this biomarker unselected cohort of cisplatin ineligible patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma, PD-1/L1 inhibitor followed by carboplatin containing chemotherapy and the reverse sequence had comparable overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001371DOI Listing
February 2021

Quality of life in patients with metastatic prostate cancer following treatment with cabazitaxel versus abiraterone or enzalutamide (CARD): an analysis of a randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 4 study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11 11;21(11):1513-1525. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Background: In the CARD study, cabazitaxel significantly improved radiographic progression-free survival and overall survival versus abiraterone or enzalutamide in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer previously treated with docetaxel and the alternative androgen signalling-targeted inhibitor. Here, we report the quality-of-life outcomes from the CARD study.

Methods: CARD was a randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 4 study involving 62 clinical sites across 13 European countries. Patients (aged ≥18 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤2) with confirmed metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer were randomly assigned (1:1) by means of an interactive voice-web response system to receive cabazitaxel (25 mg/m intravenously every 3 weeks, 10 mg daily prednisone, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) versus abiraterone (1000 mg orally once daily plus 5 mg prednisone twice daily) or enzalutamide (160 mg orally daily). Stratification factors were ECOG performance status, time to disease progression on the previous androgen signalling-targeted inhibitor, and timing of the previous androgen signalling-targeted inhibitor. The primary endpoint was radiographic progression-free survival; here, we present more detailed analyses of pain (assessed using item 3 on the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form [BPI-SF]) and symptomatic skeletal events, alongside preplanned patient-reported outcomes, assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Prostate (FACT-P) questionnaire and the EuroQoL-5 dimensions, 5 level scale (EQ-5D-5L). Efficacy analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population. Pain response was analysed in the intention-to-treat population with baseline and at least one post-baseline assessment of BPI-SF item 3, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) were analysed in the intention-to-treat population with baseline and at least one post-baseline assessment of either FACT-P or EQ-5D-5L (PRO population). Analyses of skeletal-related events were also done in the intention-to-treat population. The CARD study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02485691, and is no longer enrolling.

Findings: Between Nov 17, 2015, and Nov 28, 2018, of 303 patients screened, 255 were randomly assigned to cabazitaxel (n=129) or abiraterone or enzalutamide (n=126). Median follow-up was 9·2 months (IQR 5·6-13·1). Pain response was observed in 51 (46%) of 111 patients with cabazitaxel and 21 (19%) of 109 patients with abiraterone or enzalutamide (p<0·0001). Median time to pain progression was not estimable (NE; 95% CI NE-NE) with cabazitaxel and 8·5 months (4·9-NE) with abiraterone or enzalutamide (hazard ratio [HR] 0·55, 95% CI 0·32-0·97; log-rank p=0·035). Median time to symptomatic skeletal events was NE (95% CI 20·0-NE) with cabazitaxel and 16·7 months (10·8-NE) with abiraterone or enzalutamide (HR 0·59, 95% CI 0·35-1·01; log-rank p=0·050). Median time to FACT-P total score deterioration was 14·8 months (95% CI 6·3-NE) with cabazitaxel and 8·9 months (6·3-NE) with abiraterone or enzalutamide (HR 0·72, 95% CI 0·44-1·20; log-rank p=0·21). There was a significant treatment effect seen in changes from baseline in EQ-5D-5L utility index score in favour of cabazitaxel over abiraterone or enzalutamide (p=0·030) but no difference between treatment groups for change from baseline in EQ-5D-5L visual analogue scale (p=0·060).

Interpretation: Since cabazitaxel improved pain response, time to pain progression, time to symptomatic skeletal events, and EQ-5D-5L utility index, clinicians and patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer can be reassured that cabazitaxel will not reduce quality of life when compared with treatment with a second androgen signalling-targeted inhibitor.

Funding: Sanofi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30449-6DOI Listing
November 2020

Safety and efficacy of atezolizumab in patients with autoimmune disease: Subgroup analysis of the SAUL study in locally advanced/metastatic urinary tract carcinoma.

Eur J Cancer 2020 10 6;138:202-211. Epub 2020 Sep 6.

CREATE Centre, Section of Rheumatology, Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK. Electronic address:

Aim: Patients with pre-existing autoimmune disease (AID) are typically excluded from clinical trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors, and there are limited data on outcomes in this population. The single-arm international SAUL study of atezolizumab enrolled a broader 'real-world' patient population. We present outcomes in patients with a history of AID.

Methods: Patients with locally advanced/metastatic urinary tract carcinoma received atezolizumab 1200 mg every 3 weeks until loss of clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end-point was safety. Overall survival (OS) was a secondary end-point. Subgroup analyses of AID patients were prespecified.

Results: Thirty-five of 997 treated patients had AID at baseline, most commonly psoriasis (n = 15). Compared with non-AID patients, AID patients experienced numerically more adverse events (AEs) of special interest (46% versus 30%; grade ≥3 14% versus 6%) and treatment-related grade 3/4 AEs (26% versus 12%), but without relevant increases in treatment-related deaths (0% versus 1%) or AEs necessitating treatment discontinuation (9% versus 6%). Pre-existing AID worsened in four patients (11%; two flares in two patients); three of the six flares resolved, one was resolving, and two were unresolved. Efficacy was similar in AID and non-AID patients (median OS, 8.2 versus 8.8 months, respectively; median progression-free survival, 4.4 versus 2.2 months; disease control rate, 51% versus 39%).

Conclusions: In 35 atezolizumab-treated patients with pre-existing AID, incidences of special- interest and treatment-related AEs appeared acceptable. AEs were manageable, rarely requiring atezolizumab discontinuation. Treating these patients requires caution, but pre-existing AID does not preclude atezolizumab therapy.

Trial Registration: NCT02928406.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.07.023DOI Listing
October 2020

Challenges of Treating a Patient With Advanced Prostate Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Oncology (Williston Park) 2020 08;34(8):317-319

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City, Mexico.

A 78-year-old man had a medical history of hypertension, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease, and metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). He had progressed to first-line therapy for CRPC with abiraterone plus androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) and as second-line therapy he was being treated with docetaxel, with biochemical progression in his last prostate specific antigen measurement. He was admitted to the hospital on April 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, because of painful bone lesions and deterioration of renal function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.46883/ONC.2020.3408.0317DOI Listing
August 2020

Survey of the Impact of COVID-19 on Oncologists' Decision Making in Cancer.

JCO Glob Oncol 2020 08;6:1248-1257

Department of Medical Oncology, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Purpose: To understand readiness measures taken by oncologists to protect patients and health care workers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how their clinical decision making was influenced by the pandemic.

Methods: An online survey was conducted between March 24 and April 29, 2020.

Results: A total of 343 oncologists from 28 countries participated. The median age was 43 years (range, 29-68 years), and the majority were male (62%). At the time of the survey, nearly all participants self-reported an outbreak in their country (99.7%). Personal protective equipment was available to all participants, of which surgical mask was the most common (n = 308; 90%). Telemedicine, in the form of phone or video encounters, was common and implemented by 80% (n = 273). Testing patients with cancer for COVID-19 via reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction before systemic treatment was not routinely implemented: 58% reported no routine testing, 39% performed testing in selected patients, and 3% performed systematic testing in all patients. The most significant factors influencing an oncologist's decision making regarding choice of systemic therapy included patient age and comorbidities (81% and 92%, respectively). Although hormonal treatments and tyrosine kinase inhibitors were considered to be relatively safe, cytotoxic chemotherapy and immune therapies were perceived as being less safe or unsafe by participants. The vast majority of participants stated that during the pandemic they would use less chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and steroids. Although treatment in neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and first-line metastatic disease was less affected, most of the participants stated that they would be more hesitant to recommend second- or third-line therapies in metastatic disease.

Conclusion: Decision making by oncologists has been significantly influenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/GO.20.00300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7456315PMC
August 2020

The Value of PD-L1 Expression as Predictive Biomarker in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Jul 17;12(7). Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Medical Oncology Department, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, 28041 Madrid, Spain.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are soluble antibodies that have dramatically changed the outcomes including overall survival in a subset of kidney tumors, specifically in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). To date, there is no a single predictive biomarker approved to be used to select the patients that achieve benefit from ICIs targeting. It seems reasonable to analyze whether the programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression could be useful. To assess the role of PD-L1 expression as a potential predictive biomarker for benefit of ICIs in RCC patients, we performed a search of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) comparing ICIs (monotherapy or in combination with other therapies) to standard of care in metastatic RCC patients according to PRISMA guidelines. Trials must have included subgroup analyses evaluating the selected outcomes (progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS)) in different subsets of patients according to PD-L1 expression on tumor samples. Hazard ratios with confidence intervals were used as the measure of efficacy between groups. A total of 4635 patients (six studies) were included (ICIs arm: 2367 patients; standard of care arm: 2268 patients). Globally, PFS and OS results favored ICIs. Differential expression of PD-L1 on tumor samples could select a subset of patients who could benefit more in terms of PFS (those with higher levels; -value for difference between subgroups: <0.0001) but it did not seem to impact in OS results (-value for difference: 0.63). As different methods to assess PD-L1 positivity were used among trials, this heterogeneity could have an influence on the results. PD-L1 could represent a biomarker to test PFS in clinical trials but its value for OS is less clear. In this meta-analysis, the usefulness of PD-L1 expression as a predictive biomarker to select treatment in metastatic RCC patients was not clearly shown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7409133PMC
July 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

Exposure-response modeling of cabozantinib in patients with renal cell carcinoma: Implications for patient care.

Cancer Treat Rev 2020 Sep 24;89:102062. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

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

Cabozantinib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) approved for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at a dose of 60 mg/day. As with other TKIs, cabozantinib is associated with high interpatient variability in drug clearance and exposure that can significantly impact safety and tolerability across a patient population. To optimize cabozantinib exposure (maintaining efficacy and tolerability) for the individual, patients may require treatment interruption with dose reduction (40 mg/day and then 20 mg/day). In the pivotal Phase 3 METEOR trial, cabozantinib significantly improved overall survival, progression-free survival and the objective response rate compared with everolimus in patients with advanced RCC who had received previous treatment with a VEGFR TKI. Dose reductions were common for patients receiving cabozantinib (60%) but effective as only 9% discontinued treatment due to adverse events (AEs). In this review, we discuss pharmacometric analyses that evaluated the impact of cabozantinib dose on efficacy and safety outcomes during the METEOR study. Exposure-response models demonstrate that the risk of experiencing adverse events and dose reduction is increased in patients with low cabozantinib clearance versus typical clearance and decreased in patients with high clearance. Dose reduction of cabozantinib to manage AEs is predicted to have minimal impact on efficacy as AEs are more likely to occur in patients with low clearance and higher exposure to cabozantinib. These analyses further support a dose modification strategy to optimize cabozantinib exposure for individual patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2020.102062DOI Listing
September 2020

Randomised Phase II study comparing alternating cycles of sunitinib and everolimus vs standard sequential administration in first-line metastatic renal carcinoma (SUNRISES study).

BJU Int 2020 11 2;126(5):559-567. Epub 2020 Aug 2.

Hospital del Mar-Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy of alternating cycles of sunitinib and everolimus vs standard sequential treatment of sunitinib followed by everolimus in first-line metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), as alternating blockade of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways could potentially prevent the occurrence of resistance to anti-VEGFR therapy in mRCC.

Patients And Methods: SUNRISES, a randomised open-label Phase II study, investigated the efficacy of alternating cycles of sunitinib and everolimus vs standard sequential treatment of sunitinib followed by everolimus upon progression. Treatment-naïve patients with clear-cell mRCC were included. Alternating treatment consisted on 12 weeks of sunitinib, followed by 12 weeks of everolimus. The primary endpoint was the progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 1 year. The secondary endpoints included the median PFS, overall survival (OS), response rate, and safety.

Results: Accrual was low due to the advent of new-generation therapies, and the study was stopped prematurely. Only 41 patients out of the planned 102 patients were accrued, and randomised in a 2:1 ratio (15 patients to the control arm, 26 to the experimental arm). In all, 60.9% of patients had performance status (PS) 0 and 39% PS 1; 63% had a favourable prognostic risk profile, while 36% were intermediate risk. The primary endpoint was not met. The 1-year PFS rate was 49.7% (experimental arm) vs 84.62% (control arm; P = 0.11). There was a trend towards fewer Grade ≥3 adverse events with the alternating approach (50% vs 73.3%; P = 0.14). The median OS was similar in both treatment arms. The other secondary endpoints favoured the control arm.

Conclusions: The study failed to show any benefit of alternating cycles of sunitinib and everolimus in patients with mRCC. The alternating approach using an mTOR inhibitor does not seem to prevent the occurrence of resistance to VEGFR blockade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15165DOI Listing
November 2020