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Current Role of Immunotherapy in RCC

Toni K. Choueiri, MD
Published Online:7:13 PM, Fri December 21, 2018

Toni K. Choueiri, MD, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, director of the Kidney Cancer Center, Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the current role of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Over the last decade, a variety of cytokine, VEGF, and mTOR inhibitors have been available in RCC. Now, Choueiri says, immunotherapy is coming back in the form of checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA-4.

Initially, nivolumab (Opdivo) was approved as a monotherapy for patients who progressed on a VEGF-targeted agent, based on data seen in the CheckMate-025 trial. Now, the frontline combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab (Yervoy) has demonstrated a survival advantage over the standard of care, sunitinib (Sutent).
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