Publications by authors named "Frede Donskov"

109 Publications

Outcomes of patients with solid tumour malignancies treated with first-line immuno-oncology agents who do not meet eligibility criteria for clinical trials.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jul 8;151:115-125. Epub 2021 May 8.

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Immuno-oncology (IO)-based therapies have been approved based on randomised clinical trials, yet a significant proportion of real-world patients are not represented in these trials. We sought to compare the outcomes of trial-ineligible vs. -eligible patients with advanced solid tumours treated with first-line (1L) IO therapy.

Patients And Methods: Using the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) Database Consortium and the Alberta Immunotherapy Database, patients with advanced RCC, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or melanoma treated with 1L PD-(L)1 inhibition-based therapy were included. Trial eligibility was retrospectively determined as per commonly used exclusion criteria. The outcomes of interest were overall survival (OS), overall response rate (ORR), treatment duration (TD) and time to next treatment (TTNT).

Results: A total of 395 of 1241 (32%) patients were deemed trial-ineligible. The main reasons for ineligibility based on preselected exclusion criteria were Karnofsky performance status <70%/Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status >1 (40%, 158 of 395), brain metastases (32%, 126 of 395), haemoglobin < 9 g/dL (16%, 63 of 395) and estimated glomerular filtration rate <40 mL/min (15%, 61 of 395). Between the ineligible vs. eligible groups, the median OS, ORR, median TD and median TTNT were 10.2 vs. 39.7 months (p < 0.01), 36% vs. 47% (p < 0.01), 2.7 vs. 6.9 months (p < 0.01) and 6.0 vs. 16.8 months (p < 0.01), respectively. Subgroup analyses showed statistically significant inferior OS, TD and TTNT for trial-ineligible vs. -eligible patients across all tumour types. Adjusted hazard ratios for death in RCC, NSCLC and melanoma were 1.84 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22-2.77), 2.21 (95% CI 1.58-3.11) and 1.82 (95% CI 1.21-2.74), respectively..

Conclusions: Thirty-two percent of real-world patients treated with contemporary 1L IO-based therapies were ineligible for clinical trials. Although one-third of the trial-ineligible patients responded to treatment, the overall trial-ineligible population had inferior outcomes than trial-eligible patients. These data may guide patient counselling and temper expectations of benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.04.004DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinical Effectiveness of Second-line Sunitinib Following Immuno-oncology Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Real-world Study.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Department of Oncology, Calgary, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Limited data exist on the clinical effectiveness of second-line (2L) vascular endothelial growth factor (receptor) targeted inhibitor (VEGF(R)i) sunitinib after first-line (1L) immuno-oncology (IO) therapy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) in real-world settings.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study among adult patients with mRCC treated with 2L sunitinib following 1L IO was conducted from select International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) centers. All analyses were performed overall and by 1L ipilimumab + nivolumab (IPI+NIVO) or 1L IO+VEGF(R)i. Median overall survival (mOS) and time-to-treatment discontinuation (mTTD) in 2L were estimated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. The 2L objective response rate (ORR) (complete/partial response) was reported.

Results: Among 102 patients on 2L sunitinib, mean age was 61.3 years. IMDC risk scores at 2L initiation was available for 83 patients: 8 (9.6%) were favorable, 45 (54.2%) were intermediate, and 30 (36.1%) were poor risk. The 1L consisted of IPI+NIVO in 62 (60.8%), IO+VEGF(R)i therapy in 27 (26.5%), and IO monotherapy in 13 (12.7%) patients. Among all patients, mOS was 15.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.8-21.7), with a 1-year OS rate of 57.5% (95% CI, 45.2-68.0). mTTD was 5.4 months (95% CI, 4.2-7.2) and ORR was 22.5%.

Conclusion: Despite availability of effective 1L therapies in recent years, 2L sunitinib continues to have clinical activity after failure of 1L IO. Further studies on optimal treatment sequencing after 1L IO progression are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2021.03.006DOI Listing
March 2021

Efficacy of immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in the treatment of older adults with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) - an International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) analysis.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 Jun 3;12(5):820-826. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

William Osler Health System, Brampton, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Objective: Older adults with metastatic renal cell carcinoma(mRCC) are underrepresented in immune-checkpoint inhibitor(ICI) registration trials. Here we compare the efficacy of ICI treatments in older vs. younger adults with mRCC.

Methods: Using the International mRCC Database Consortium(IMDC), patients treated with a PD(L)-1 based ICI were identified. Older adult was defined as ≥70-years at the time of treatment. Descriptive statistics were summarized in means, medians, and proportions. Effectiveness endpoints included overall survival (OS), time-to-treatment failure(TTF), time-to-next treatment(TNT), and overall response rate(ORR). Hazards ratios were adjusted(aHR) for IMDC risk factors, histology, line of treatment and older age.

Results: Of 1427 included patients, 397(28%) were older adults. ICI was used as 1st line(1 L) in 40%, 2nd line(2 L) in 49% and 3rd line(3 L) in 11% of patients. In univariable analysis, older adults had inferior OS compared to younger adults(25.1 m vs. 30.8 m, p < 0.01). There were no significant differences in TTF (6.9 m vs. 6.9 m, p = 0.4) or TNT(9.1 m vs 10 m, p = 0.3) between groups. In multivariable analyses, older age was not independently associated with worse OS(aHR = 1.02, p = 0.8), TTF(aHR = 0.95, p = 0.6) or TNT(aHR = 0.93, p = 0.5). Older adults had a lower ORR compared to younger adults(24% vs. 31%, p = 0.01), which was mainly driven by responses in 1 L(31% vs. 44%, p = 0.02) and not observed in 2 L/3 L.

Conclusions: After multivariable analyses, older adults with mRCC treated with ICI had no difference in OS, TTF or TNT when compared to younger adults. Our data support that chronological older age should not preclude patients from receiving ICI based therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2021.02.022DOI Listing
June 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

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

J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 2;39(9):1020-1028. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC.

Purpose: Pembrolizumab, a programmed death 1 inhibitor, demonstrated promising single-agent activity in untreated patients with various cancer types. The phase II KEYNOTE-427 study evaluated efficacy and safety of single-agent pembrolizumab in treatment-naive patients with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC; cohort A) and advanced non-ccRCC (cohort B). Results of cohort A are reported.

Methods: In this open-label, single-arm phase II study, patients with advanced ccRCC received pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks for ≤ 24 months. The primary end point was objective response rate by RECIST, version 1.1.

Results: In the total population (N = 110), median time from enrollment to data cutoff was 35.9 (range, 29.5-40.3) months. Objective response rate was 36.4% with four (3.6%) complete responses and 36 (32.7%) partial responses; disease control rate was 58.2% (95% CI, 48.4 to 67.5). Most patients (68.2%) had a decrease in target lesions, including 30.9% with a reduction ≥ 60%. Median duration of response was 18.9 (range, 2.3-37.6+) months; 64.1% of responders had a response ≥ 12 months (Kaplan-Meier). Median progression-free survival was 7.1 months (95% CI, 5.6 to 11.0). Median overall survival was not reached; 12-month and 24-month overall survival rates were 88.2% and 70.8%, respectively. Durable responses were observed across all International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium categories. Grade 3-5 treatment-related adverse events were reported in 30.0% of patients, of which colitis and diarrhea were most frequent.

Conclusion: Single-agent pembrolizumab showed promising antitumor activity as a first-line treatment in patients with advanced ccRCC, with durable responses across International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium categories. Safety and tolerability profile of pembrolizumab monotherapy was comparable to what has been previously described in other tumor types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078336PMC
March 2021

Evaluation of Clear Cell, Papillary, and Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma Metastasis Sites and Association With Survival.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 01 4;4(1):e2021869. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Importance: There exists considerable biological and clinical variability between histologic variants of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Data reporting on patterns of metastasis in histologic variants of mRCC are sparse.

Objective: To characterize sites of metastasis and their association with survival across the 3 most common histologic variants of mRCC: clear cell (ccRCC), papillary (pRCC), and chromophobe (chrRCC).

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this multicenter, international cohort study, the International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) database was used to identify consecutive patients starting systemic therapy for mRCC between 2002 and 2019. Patients with mixed histologic subtype were excluded. Statistical analysis was performed from February to June 2020.

Exposures: Data regarding histologic subtype and sites of metastatic involvement at the time of first systemic therapy initiation were collected.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcomes were prevalence of metastatic site involvement and overall survival (OS) from time of systemic therapy initiation. Patients with multiple sites of metastatic involvement were included in analyses of all groups to which they had metastases.

Results: A total of 10 105 patients were eligible for analysis. Median (interquartile range) age at diagnosis was 60 (53-67) years, 7310 (72.4%) were men and 8526 (84.5%) underwent nephrectomy. Of these, 9252 (92%) had ccRCC, 667 (7%) had pRCC, and 186 (2%) had chrRCC. The median number of sites of metastasis was 2 (range, 0-7). In ccRCC, the most common sites of metastasis were lung (70%; 6189 of 8804 patients [448 missing]), lymph nodes (45%; 3874 of 8655 patients [597 missing]), bone (32%; 2847 of 8817 patients [435 missing]), liver (18%; 1560 of 8804 [448 missing]), and adrenal gland (10%; 678 of 6673 patients [2579 missing]). Sites of metastasis varied between subtypes. Lung, adrenal, brain, and pancreatic metastases were more frequent in ccRCC, lymph node involvement was more common in pRCC, and liver metastases were more frequent in chrRCC. Median OS for ccRCC varied by site of metastatic involvement, ranging between 16 months (95% CI, 13.7-18.8 months) for the pleura and 50 months (95% CI, 41.1-55.5 months) for the pancreas. Compared with ccRCC, patients with pRCC tended to have lower OS, regardless of metastatic site.

Conclusions And Relevance: Sites of metastatic involvement differ according to histologic subtype in mRCC and are associated with OS. These data highlight the clinical and biological variability between histologic subtypes of mRCC. Patterns of metastatic spread may reflect differences in underlying disease biology. Further work to investigate differences in immune, molecular, and genetic profiles between metastatic sites and histologic subtypes is encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.21869DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821027PMC
January 2021

Cabozantinib real-world effectiveness in the first-through fourth-line settings for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Results from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium.

Cancer Med 2021 02 18;10(4):1212-1221. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Background: Cabozantinib is approved for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) based on the METEOR and CABOSUN trials. However, real-world effectiveness and dosing patterns of cabozantinib are not well characterized.

Methods: Patients with mRCC treated with cabozantinib between 2011 and 2019 were identified and stratified using the International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) risk groups. First- (1L), second- (2L), third- (3L), and fourth-line (4L) overall response rate (ORR), time to treatment failure (TTF), and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Dose reduction rates and their association with TTF and OS were determined.

Results: A total of 413 patients were identified. The ORRs across 1L to 4L were 32%, 26%, 25%, and 29%, respectively, and the median TTF rates were 8.3, 7.3, 7.0, and 8.0 months, respectively. The median OS (mOS) rates in 1L to 4L were 30.7, 17.8, 12.6, and 14.9 months, respectively. For patients treated with 1L PD(L)1 combination agent (n = 31), 2L cabozantinib had ORR of 22%, median TTF of 5.4 months, and mOS of 17.4 months. About 50% (129/258) of patients required dose reductions. The TTF and mOS were significantly longer for patients who required dose reduction vs. patients who did not, with an adjusted hazard ratio of 0.37 (95% CI 0.202-0.672, p < 0.01) and 0.46 (95% CI 0.215-0.980, p = 0.04), respectively. Limitations include the retrospective study design and the lack of central radiology review.

Conclusion: The ORR and TTF of cabozantinib were maintained from the 1L to 4L settings. Dose reductions due to toxicity were associated with improved TTF and OS. Cabozantinib has clinical activity after 1L Immuno-oncology combination agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3717DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7926018PMC
February 2021

Adjuvant Pazopanib Versus Placebo After Nephrectomy in Patients With Localized or Locally Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: Final Overall Survival Analysis of the Phase 3 PROTECT Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 Mar 15;79(3):334-338. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Most studies indicate no benefit of adjuvant therapy with VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). PROTECT (NCT01235962) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study to evaluate adjuvant pazopanib in patients with locally advanced RCC at high risk of relapse after nephrectomy (pazopanib, n = 769; placebo, n = 769). The results of the primary analysis showed no difference in disease-free survival between pazopanib 600 mg and placebo. Here we report the final overall survival (OS) analysis (median follow-up: pazopanib, 76 mo, interquartile range [IQR] 66-84; placebo, 77 mo, IQR 69-85). There was no significant difference in OS between the pazopanib and placebo arms (hazard ratio 1.0, 95% confidence interval 0.80-1.26; nominal p > 0.9). OS was worse for patients with T4 disease compared to those with less advanced disease and was better for patients with body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m compared to those with lower BMI. OS was significantly better for patients who remained diseasefree at 2 yr after treatment compared with those who relapsed within 2 yr. These findings are consistent with the primary outcomes from PROTECT, indicating that adjuvant pazopanib does not confer a benefit in terms of OS for patients following resection of locally advanced RCC. PATIENT SUMMARY: In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 PROTECT study, overall survival was similar for patients with locally advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at high risk of relapse after nephrectomy who received adjuvant therapy with pazopanib or placebo. Pazopanib is not recommended as adjuvant therapy following resection of locally advanced RCC. This trial is registered at Clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01235962.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.12.029DOI Listing
March 2021

Outcomes based on age in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with first line targeted therapy or checkpoint immunotherapy: Older patients more prone to toxicity.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 Jun 31;12(5):827-833. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 99, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark. Electronic address:

Objectives: Older patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) were underrepresented in pivotal trials.

Materials And Methods: Consecutive patients with mRCC treated at Aarhus University Hospital with first line tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), mTOR inhibitors, or checkpoint immunotherapy (CPI) were retrospectively analyzed in age-subgroups; ≥ 75, 65-74, and < 65 years, with overall survival (OS), time-to-treatment discontinuation (TTD), and progression-free survival (PFS) as endpoints. Hazards ratios were adjusted (aHR) for International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium (IMDC) risk factors, histology, and age.

Results: Of 838 patients, 159 (19%) were ≥ 75 years, 324 (39%) 65-74 years, and 355 (42%) < 65 years. Treatments were TKI in 729 (87%) patients, mTOR in 43 (5%) and CPI in 67 (8%). Older patients ≥ 75 years compared with 65-74 years and < 65 years had lower toxicity-adjusted median doses of pazopanib, 300 mg vs. 400 mg vs. 600 mg, respectively, (p < 0.001), and sunitinib, 25 mg vs. 37.5 mg vs. 50 mg, respectively (p < 0.001); numerically fewer doses of CPI, median 2 vs. 5 vs. 5, respectively, (p = 0.2); a higher proportion had dose reduction/interruption, 76% vs. 55% vs. 41%, respectively, (p < 0.001); and shorter mean time to dose reduction/interruption, 0.5 months vs. 1.9 months vs. 3.4 months, respectively, (p < 0.001). After adjusting IMDC prognostic factors and histology in multivariate analyses, age did not impact OS (aHR 1.0; 95% CI 0.99-1.02, p = 0.2), TTD (aHR 1.0; 95% CI 0.99-1.01, p = 0.4) or PFS (aHR 1.0, 95% CI 0.99-1.01; p = 0.9).

Conclusion: Older patients with mRCC were more prone to toxicity; but age did not impact outcomes. Proactive dose modification/interruption and awareness may help to reduce toxicity while maintaining efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2020.12.008DOI Listing
June 2021

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

Efficacy and Safety of Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab versus Sunitinib in First-line Treatment of Patients with Advanced Sarcomatoid Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jan 1;27(1):78-86. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Purpose: Patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid features (sRCC) have poor prognoses and suboptimal outcomes with targeted therapy. This analysis of the phase III CheckMate 214 trial analyzed the efficacy of nivolumab plus ipilimumab (NIVO+IPI) versus sunitinib in patients with sRCC.

Patients And Methods: Patients with sRCC were identified via independent central pathology review of archival tumor tissue or histologic classification per local pathology report. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive nivolumab (3 mg/kg) plus ipilimumab (1 mg/kg) every 3 weeks (four doses) then nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks, or sunitinib 50 mg orally every day (4 weeks; 6-week cycles). Outcomes in patients with sRCC were not prespecified. Endpoints in patients with sRCC and International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium intermediate/poor-risk disease included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) per independent radiology review, and objective response rate (ORR) per RECIST v1.1. Safety outcomes used descriptive statistics.

Results: Of 1,096 randomized patients in CheckMate 214, 139 patients with sRCC and intermediate/poor-risk disease and six with favorable-risk disease were identified. With 42 months' minimum follow-up in patients with sRCC and intermediate/poor-risk disease, median OS [95% confidence interval (CI)] favored NIVO+IPI [not reached (NR) (25.2-not estimable [NE]); = 74] versus sunitinib [14.2 months (9.3-22.9); = 65; HR, 0.45 (95% CI, 0.3-0.7; = 0.0004)]; PFS benefits with NIVO+IPI were similarly observed [median 26.5 vs. 5.1 months; HR, 0.54 (95% CI, 0.33-0.86; = 0.0093)]. Confirmed ORR was 60.8% with NIVO+IPI versus 23.1% with sunitinib, with complete response rates of 18.9% versus 3.1%, respectively. No new safety signals emerged.

Conclusions: NIVO+IPI showed unprecedented long-term survival, response, and complete response benefits versus sunitinib in previously untreated patients with sRCC and intermediate/poor-risk disease, supporting the use of first-line NIVO+IPI for this population..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2063DOI Listing
January 2021

Registrations of Patients with Renal Cell Carcinoma in the Nationwide Danish Renal Cancer Database versus the Danish Cancer Registry: Data Quality, Completeness and Survival (DaRenCa Study-3).

Clin Epidemiol 2020 27;12:807-814. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: The Danish multidisciplinary renal cancer group (DaRenCa) established the nationwide database DaRenCaData in 2010. The Danish Cancer Registry (DCR) has been considered the golden standard. In contrast to DCR, DaRenCaData required the diagnosis to be histologically or cytologically verified. DaRenCaData and DCR have not previously been compared.

Patients And Methods: We included patients with renal cell carcinoma registered in DaRenCaData and/or DCR from August 1st 2010 to December 31st 2015. We computed completeness and positive predictive value (PPV) of a diagnosis in DaRenCaData compared with DCR, 1-year, 3-year and 5-year mortality rate ratios, and relative survival.

Results: We identified 4890 patients in the two registries. Of these, 4326 were registered in DaRenCaData and 4714 in DCR. Completeness of DaRenCaData was 88% [95% CI, 87-89%] and increased during the period from 82% to 94%. The PPV was 96% [95% CI, 95-97%]. A total of 4150 patients (85%) were found in both registries, 4% (176 patients) in DaRenCaData only, and 12% (564 patients) in DCR only. The relative survival was higher for patients in DaRenCaData vs DCR; the 1-year and 5-year relative survival was 85% vs 81% and 65% vs 59%, respectively. Compared with patients registered in both registries, the mortality rates were higher in patients registered in DaRenCaData only (1-year hazard ratio (HR)=2.84 [95% CI, 2.20-3.68]) or DCR only (1-year HR=4.29 [95% CI, 3.72-4.93]). Observed in both registries, survival improved over time with a 7% yearly reduction in death based on estimations of 1-year mortality rate ratios.

Conclusion: DaRenCaData had high and increasing completeness and high PPV, establishing it as a high-quality research database. Observed in both registries, renal cell carcinoma mortality declined over time; patients only registered in DCR or DaRenCaData had poorer outcomes. This study points to the importance of assessing the inclusion criteria when interpreting registry-based studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S258755DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7394510PMC
July 2020

Blood natural killer cells during treatment in recurrent ovarian cancer.

Acta Oncol 2020 Nov 21;59(11):1365-1373. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Department of Oncology, Vejle Hospital - University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Vejle, Denmark.

Objective: Recent research indicated favorable prognostic impact of intratumoral natural killer (NK) cells in ovarian carcinoma (OC). The role of NK cells during chemotherapy in OC is unknown. We investigated impact of NK cells in OC patients treated with palliative chemotherapy.

Methods: Participants receiving palliative chemotherapy for recurrent OC ( = 72) had prospectively blood samples at baseline and before cycle 2. NK cell counts were quantified by flow cytometry. NK cell activity was measured by the NK Vue assay, estimating interferon-gamma production. Overall survival (OS) was the primary endpoint. Cutoffs were predefined, NK numbers (≥184 × 10 cells/L vs. <184 × 10 cells/L) and NK activity (<200 pg/mL vs. ≥200 pg/mL).

Results: Median OS in patients with low vs. high NK cell count at baseline was 7.1 months vs. 15.6 months ( = .028), respectively, and before cycle 2 was 5.7 vs. 17.3 months,  < .001, respectively. The difference in restricted mean survival (ΔRMST) was 5.7 months (95% CI: 3.3-8.0) at cycle 2 vs. 2.5 months (95% CI: -0.6 to 5.6) at baseline, showing a significant difference with no overlap of confidence intervals. In multivariate analyses, low NK cell count remained significant with a hazard ratio (HR)=2.83, 95% CI: 1.53-5.22,  = .001 (baseline) and HR = 3.34, 95% CI: 1.67-6.71,  = .001 (before cycle 2). Patients with both low NK count and NK activity at baseline ( = 20) had median OS 6.5 months vs. 11.5 months in patients with either high activity, high count or both ( = .007). In parallel, patients with both low NK activity and count at cycle 2 ( = 18) had a median survival of 4.0 months vs. 15.4 months ( < .001).

Conclusions: A low blood NK cell count in recurrent metastatic ovarian cancer during chemotherapy is associated with unfavorable prognostic impact. Early increase in survival difference based on NK cell status suggests an association between NK cell count and treatment benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2020.1791358DOI Listing
November 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

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

Baseline blood volume identified by dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography as a new independent prognostic factor in metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Transl Oncol 2020 Oct 9;13(10):100829. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. Electronic address:

Background: Preliminary data showed prognostic impact of contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) identified Blood Volume (BV) in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). BV as an independent prognostic factor remains to be assessed.

Materials And Methods: DCE-CT identified BV was prospectively quantified in patients with mRCC receiving first line therapies, adjusted for International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) individual features and treatments, and associated with overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response (ORR), using Cox and logistic regression, respectively.

Results: 105 patients with mRCC were included. Median baseline BV was 32.87 mL × 100 g (range 9.52 to 92.87 mL × 100 g). BV above median was associated with IMDC favorable risk category (P = 0.004), metastasis free interval ≥ 1 year (P = 0.007), male gender (P = 0.032), normal hemoglobin (P = 0.040) and normal neutrophils (P = 0.007), whereas low BV was associated with poor risk IMDC features (P < 0.05). Patients with high vs. low baseline BV had longer PFS (12.5 vs. 5.6 months, P = 0.015) and longer OS (42.2 vs. 22.4 months, P = 0.001), respectively. In multivariate analysis high baseline BV remained independent favorable for OS (HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.30-0.78, P = 0.003) and PFS (HR 0.64; 95% CI 0.42-0.97, P = 0.036). BV as a continuous variable was also associated with OS in the multivariate analysis (HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96-1.00, P = 0.017). The estimated concordance index (c-index) was 0.688 using IMDC score and 0.701 when BV was added.

Conclusions: DCE-CT identified Blood Volume is a new, independent prognostic factor in mRCC, which may improve the prognostic accuracy of IMDC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2020.100829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7350156PMC
October 2020

18F-FDG Uptake in a Mesonephric Carcinoma.

Clin Nucl Med 2020 Sep;45(9):696-699

From the Departments of Nuclear Medicine and PET Centre.

We present the case of a 39-year-old woman with vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. An F-FDG PET/CT showed high F-FDG uptake in a tumor in the pouch of Douglas, in 3 lymph nodes in the pelvis, and in the left tuber ischiadicum. Biopsies revealed a mesonephric carcinoma with metastases. Six series of empiric chemotherapy with carboplatin, paclitaxel, and bevacizumab were not sufficient to treat the cancer, and checkpoint immunotherapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab was initialized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RLU.0000000000003134DOI Listing
September 2020

Prognostic significance of baseline T cells, B cells and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in recurrent ovarian cancer treated with chemotherapy.

J Ovarian Res 2020 May 15;13(1):59. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Oncology, Vejle Hospital - University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Vejle, Denmark.

Purpose: Biomarkers are needed to guide treatment decisions in recurrent ovarian cancer, as a high proportion of patients do not benefit from treatments. Data on immune subsets in patients receiving chemotherapy are scarce. We investigated the impact of T cells, B cells, neutrophils and the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in ovarian cancer patients receiving palliative chemotherapy.

Methods: Blood samples were collected prospectively at baseline in recurrent ovarian cancer (N = 72) receiving chemotherapy. T cells, B cells, neutrophils, and NLR were analyzed. Primary and secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and treatment response, respectively. Cut-offs for T and B cells were predefined.

Results: In patients with low vs. high T and B cells counts, OS was 6.1 months vs 12.0 months (P = 0.017) and 6.1 months vs 12.0 months (P = 0.011, respectively. Low T and B cells analyzed as continuous variables were also associated with unfavorable OS, P = 0.011 and P = 0.007, respectively. Neutrophils had no significant prognostic impact. Median NLR was 4.1. High vs. low NLR was associated with poor survival, 7.4 months vs. 15.9 months (P = 0.012). In multivariate analysis including platinum sensitivity, number of prior lines of chemotherapy, and performance status, high NLR remained an independent poor prognostic factor HR: 2.17 (95% CI 1.21-3.88) (P = 0.009). High NLR was also significantly associated with lack of response, OR 0.15 (95% CI: 0.04-0.51) (P = 0.002).

Conclusion: In recurrent ovarian cancer patients undergoing palliative chemotherapy, low T and B lymphocyte counts had an unfavorable prognostic impact. High NLR was associated with lack of response and a poor prognosis, and the parameter may be used in patient counselling and treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13048-020-00661-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7229632PMC
May 2020

Deferred Cytoreductive Nephrectomy in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Eur Urol 2020 10 30;78(4):615-623. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Background: The use of cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) selectively for patients who show a favorable response to upfront systemic therapy may be an approach to select optimal candidates with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) who are most likely to benefit.

Objective: We sought to characterize outcomes of deferred CN (dCN) after upfront sunitinib, outcomes relative to sunitinib alone, and outcomes of CN followed by sunitinib.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We used the prospectively maintained International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) database to identify patients with newly diagnosed mRCC (2006-2018).

Intervention: Sunitinib alone, upfront CN followed by sunitinib, sunitinib followed by dCN.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Outcomes were overall survival (OS) and time to sunitinib treatment failure (TTF). Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed; dCN was analyzed as a time-varying covariate to account for immortal time bias.

Results And Limitations: We evaluated 1541 patients, of whom 651 (42%) received sunitinib alone, 805 (52%) underwent CN followed by sunitinib, and 85 (5.5%) received sunitinib followed by dCN, at a median of 7.8 mo from diagnosis. Median OS periods for patients treated with sunitinib alone, CN followed by sunitinib, and sunitinib followed by dCN were 10, 19, and 46 mo, respectively, while the median TTF values were 4, 8, and 13 mo, respectively. In multivariable regression analyses, sunitinib followed by dCN was significantly associated with improved OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.60, p < 0.001) and TTF (HR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.46-0.85, p = 0.003) versus sunitinib alone. Among CN-treated patients, sunitinib followed by dCN was associated with improved OS (HR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.39-0.70, p < 0.001) and TTF (HR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.56-0.90, p = 0.005) compared with upfront CN followed by sunitinib. In various sensitivity analyses, dCN remained significantly associated with improved OS and TTF.

Conclusions: Patients who received dCN were carefully selected and achieved long OS. With these benchmark outcomes, optimal selection criteria need to be identified and confirmation of the role of dCN in a clinical trial is warranted.

Patient Summary: We characterized benchmark survival outcomes for patients with metastatic kidney cancer treated with sunitinib alone, nephrectomy (kidney removal) followed by sunitinib, and sunitinib followed by nephrectomy. Patients who had their nephrectomy after an initial course of sunitinib had prolonged survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.04.038DOI Listing
October 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 in Black and White Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated With First-Line Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors: Insights From Two Large Cohorts.

JCO Glob Oncol 2020 02;6:293-306

University of California San Diego, Moores Cancer Center, San Diego, CA.

Purpose: To investigate whether black race is an independent predictor of overall survival (OS) in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Methods: We performed a retrospective 2-cohort (International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium [IMDC] and trial-database) study of patients with mRCC treated with first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Unmatched (UM) and matched (M) analyses accounting for imbalances in region, year of treatment, age, and sex between races were performed. Cox models adjusting for histology, number of metastatic sites, nephrectomy, and IMDC risk compared time to treatment failure (TTF; IMDC cohort), progression-free survival (PFS; trial-database cohort), and OS.

Results: The IMDC cohort included 73 black versus 3,381 (UM) and 1,236 (M) white patients. The trial-database cohort included 21 black versus 1,040 (UM) and 431 (M) white patients. Median OS for black versus white patients was 18.5 versus 25.8 months in the IMDC group and 21.0 versus 25.6 months in the trial-database group. Differences in OS were not significant in multivariable analysis in the IMDC group (hazard ratio [HR], 1.0; 95% CI, 0.7 to 1.5; HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.8 to 1.4) and trial-database (HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 0.8 to 2.7; HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.8 to 2.6) cohorts. TTF for black patients was shorter in the UM IMDC cohort (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.8; = .003), but not in the M analysis. PFS was shorter for black patients in both analyses in the trial-database cohort (HR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9; = .002; HR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9; = .002).

Conclusion: Black patients had more IMDC risk factors and worse outcomes with TKIs versus white patients. Race was not an independent predictor of OS. Strategies to understand biologic determinants of outcomes for minority patients are needed to optimize care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JGO.19.00380DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7055470PMC
February 2020

Synchronous Versus Metachronous Metastatic Disease: Impact of Time to Metastasis on Patient Outcome-Results from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium.

Eur Urol Oncol 2020 08 6;3(4):530-539. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, Canada.

Background: Patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) may present with primary metastases (synchronous disease) or develop metastases during follow-up (metachronous disease). The impact of time to metastasis on patient outcome is poorly characterised.

Objective: To characterise overall survival (OS) and time to treatment failure (TTF) based on time to metastasis in mRCC patients treated with targeted therapy (tyrosine kinase inhibitors [TKIs]).

Design, Setting, And Participants: We used the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) to compare synchronous (metastases within ≤3 mo of initial diagnosis of cancer) versus metachronous disease (evaluated by >3-12 mo, >1-2 yr, >2-7 yr, and >7 yr intervals).

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: OS and TFF were assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves. Cox multivariable regressions analyses (MVAs) were adjusted for baseline factors.

Results And Limitations: Of 7386 patients with mRCC treated with first-line TKIs, 3906 (53%) and 3480 (47%) had synchronous and metachronous metastasis, respectively. More patients with synchronous versus metachronous disease had higher T stage (T1-2: 19% vs 34%), N1 disease (21% vs 6%), presence of sarcomatoid differentiation (15.8% vs 7.9%), Karnofsky performance status <80 (25.9% vs 15.1%), anaemia (62.5% vs 42.3%), elevated neutrophils (18.9% vs 10.9%), elevated platelets (21.6% vs 11.4%), bone metastases (40.4% vs 29.8%), and IMDC poor risk (40.6% vs 11.3%). Synchronous versus metachronous disease by intervals >3-12 mo, >1-2 yr, >2-7 yr, and >7 yr correlated with poor TTF (5.6 mo vs 7.3, 8.0, 10.8, and 13.3 mo, p <  0.0001) and poor OS (median 16.7 mo vs 23.8, 30.2, 34.8, and 41.7 mo, p <  0.0001). In MVAs, the adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 1.00 (reference), 0.98 (0.90-1.06), 0.81 (0.73-0.91), 0.74 (0.68-0.81), and 0.60 (0.54-0.67), respectively, for OS (p <  0.0001), and 1.00 (reference), 0.99 (0.92-1.06), 0.98 (0.90-1.07), 0.83 (0.77-0.89), and 0.66 (0.60-0.72), respectively, for TTF (p <  0.0001). Data were collected retrospectively.

Conclusions: Timing of metastases after initial RCC diagnosis may impact the outcomes from targeted therapy in mRCC.

Patient Summary: We looked at the impact of the timing of metastatic outbreak on survival outcomes in kidney cancer patients treated with targeted therapy. We found that the longer time to metastatic development was associated with improved outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.01.001DOI Listing
August 2020

Real-World Assessment of Clinical Outcomes Among First-Line Sunitinib Patients with Clear Cell Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (mRCC) by the International mRCC Database Consortium Risk Group.

Oncologist 2020 05 23;25(5):422-430. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Background: International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (mRCC) Database Consortium (IMDC) risk groups are important when considering therapeutic options for first-line treatment.

Materials And Methods: Adult patients with clear cell mRCC initiating first-line sunitinib between 2010 and 2018 were included in this retrospective database study. Median time to treatment discontinuation (TTD) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Outcomes were stratified by IMDC risk groups and evaluated for those in the combined intermediate and poor risk group and separately for those in the intermediate risk group with one versus two risk factors.

Results: Among 1,769 patients treated with first-line sunitinib, 318 (18%) had favorable, 1,031 (58%) had intermediate, and 420 (24%) had poor IMDC risk. Across the three risk groups, patients had similar age, gender, and sunitinib initiation year. Median TTD was 15.0, 8.5, and 4.2 months in the favorable, intermediate, and poor risk groups, respectively, and 7.1 months in the combined intermediate and poor risk group. Median OS was 52.1, 31.5, and 9.8 months in the favorable, intermediate, and poor risk groups, respectively, and 23.2 months in the combined intermediate and poor risk group. Median OS (35.1 vs. 21.9 months) and TTD (10.3 vs. 6.6 months) were significantly different between intermediate risk patients with one versus two risk factors.

Conclusion: This real-world study found a median OS of 52 months for patients with favorable IMDC risk treated with first-line sunitinib, setting a new benchmark on clinical outcomes of clear cell mRCC. Analysis of intermediate risk group by one or two risk factors demonstrated distinct clinical outcomes.

Implications For Practice: This analysis offers a contemporary benchmark for overall survival (median, 52.1 months; 95% confidence interval, 43.4-61.2) among patients with clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma who were treated with sunitinib as first-line therapy in a real-world setting and classified as favorable risk according to International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) risk group classification. This study demonstrates that clinical outcomes differ between IMDC risk groups as well as within the intermediate risk group based on the number of risk factors, thus warranting further consideration of risk group when counseling patients about therapeutic options and designing clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7216460PMC
May 2020

Favorable prognostic impact of Natural Killer cells and T cells in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma.

Acta Oncol 2020 Jun 14;59(6):652-659. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Vejle, Denmark.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the prognostic impact of intratumoral cytotoxic T cells, Natural Killer (NK) cells, neutrophils and PD-L1 expression in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. All patients diagnosed with high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) in Denmark in 2005 were included in the study. Immunohistochemical staining for PD-L1, CD8, CD66b and CD57 was performed on tumor tissue from 283 patients. Cell densities were analyzed using a digital image analysis method. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). The median OS for HGSC patients was 30 months. It was 45 months in patients with high level of CD57+ NK cells (≥10 cells/mm) compared with 29 month in patients with low level (<10 cells/mm) ( = .0310). The median OS was 37 and 25 months in patients with high vs. low level of CD8+ T cells (cutoff 80 cells/mm) ( = .0008). In multivariate analysis, high numbers of CD57+ NK cells and CD8+ T cells remained independent markers of favorable OS, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.67;  = .041, and HR 0.72;  = .020, respectively. PD-L1 expression was associated with improved OS (37 months vs. 22 months,  = .0006), but was only borderline significant in the multivariate analysis (HR 0.77,  = .061). CD66b + neutrophils had no association with OS. In patients with HGSC tumor-infiltrating CD57+ NK cells and CD8+ T cells had favorable prognostic impact, while PD-L1 expression had borderline favorable prognostic significance. CD66b + neutrophils had no prognostic association. These findings may influence future immunotherapy development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2019.1711173DOI Listing
June 2020

Clinical Outcomes of First-line Sunitinib Followed by Immuno-oncology Checkpoint Inhibitors in Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2020 08 13;18(4):e350-e359. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: The present retrospective, longitudinal cohort study assessed the association between the first-line sunitinib treatment duration and clinical outcomes with second-line immuno-oncology (IO) therapy among patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Patients And Methods: A total of 161 patients with mRCC who had been treated with first-line sunitinib and subsequent IO therapy from select International mRCC Database Consortium centers were included. The overall survival, time to next therapy, time to treatment discontinuation, and real-world physician-assessed best response measured from IO therapy initiation were analyzed and compared between patients treated with first-line sunitinib for ≥ 6 months and those treated for < 6 months.

Results: The 116 patients treated with sunitinib for ≥ 6 months tended to be older and to have a better International mRCC Database Consortium risk than the 45 patients treated for < 6 months (favorable, 36% vs. 8%, P = .001; intermediate, 59% vs. 70%, P = .21; poor, 5% vs. 22%, P = .007). The receipt of sunitinib for ≥ 6 months versus < 6 months was associated with longer survival (hazard ratio [HR], 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.87; P = .02). No significant association was observed between the first-line sunitinib duration and second-line IO outcomes, including the time to next therapy (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.52-1.51; P = .66), time to treatment discontinuation (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.54-1.34; P = .49), and tumor response (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.22-2.49; P = .62).

Conclusions: We found no statistically significant association between the first-line sunitinib duration and clinical outcomes with second-line IO therapy. Patients receiving first-line sunitinib for ≥ 6 months compared with < 6 months was associated with better overall survival, although potential unadjusted confounders could have been present. These findings support the paradigm that previous therapy will not dictate the effectiveness of subsequent immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2019.12.007DOI Listing
August 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