Articles

EAU 2020: Active Surveillance Proves Safe and Noninferior to Primary Intervention for Small Renal Masses

J.G. Cheaib, MD, MPH, and P.M. Pierorazio, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues sought to describe 10-year outcomes in patients with small renal masses.
Published in Urology
News · July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020—Arnheim, The Netherlands—Active surveillance appears to be as safe as and not inferior to primary intervention in carefully selected patients with small renal masses suspected of being renal cell carcinoma.

Small renal masses were defined as solid renal masses ≤4.0 cm (clinical stage T1a).

This conclusion, based on results of an analysis of a prospective, comparative study from the large, multi-institutional Delayed Intervention and Surveillance for Small Renal Masses (DISSRM) registry, which captures 10 years of experience thus far, was reported as part of the virtual 35th Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology (EAU).

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Characterization of PD-1 and PD-L1 Expression in Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results of a Large Multicenter Study

Erlmeier F, Steffens S, Stöhr C, et al.
Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2020 Jul 9
DOI: 10.1016/j.clgc.2020.07.002.

Abstract

Background

Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) play a decisive role as prognostic markers in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). To date, the role of PD-1/PD-L1 as a prognostic marker in papillary RCC (pRCC) remains scarce.

Patients and methods

Patients’ sample collection was a joint collaboration of the nationwide PANZAR consortium – a multicenter study. Medical history and tumor specimens were collected from 245 and 129 patients with pRCC types 1 and 2, respectively. Expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 was determined by immunohistochemistry in pRCC and tumor-infiltrating mononuclear cells.

Results

Of 374 pRCC specimens, 204 type 1 and 97 type 2 were evaluable for PD-1 and PD-L1 expression analysis. In total, PD-1 and PD-L1 expression were found in 8 (4.9%) of 162 and 12 (7.2%) of 166 evaluable pRCC type 1 specimens. Comparably, PD-1 and PD-L1 expression were found in 2 (2.4%) of 83 and 5 (6.2%) of 81 evaluable pRCC type 2 specimens. Hardly any clinically relevant associations between PD-1 and PD-L1 positivity and clinicopathologic or clinical courses were observed, neither in pRCC type 1 nor type 2.

Conclusion

The analysis of a large pRCC cohort from a multicenter consortium revealed no impact of PD-1/PD-L1 expression on prognosis in patients with pRCC with predominantly limited disease status, neither for type 1 nor type 2. However, the impact of PD-1 and PD-L1 in more advanced pRCC disease needs further elucidation.

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Cabozantinib After a Previous Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Retrospective Multi-Institutional Analysis

Iacovelli R, Ciccarese C, Facchini G, et al.
Target Oncol. 2020 Aug.
DOI: 10.1007/s11523-020-00732-y.

Abstract

Background

Angiogenesis has been recognized as the most important factor for tumor invasion, proliferation, and progression in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). However, few clinical data are available regarding the efficacy of cabozantinib following immunotherapy.

Objective

To describe the outcome of cabozantinib in patients previously treated with immunotherapy.

Patients and methods

Patients with mRCC who received cabozantinib immediately after nivolumab were included. The primary endpoint was to assess the outcome in terms of efficacy and activity.

Results

Eighty-four mRCC patients met the criteria to be included in the final analysis. After a median follow-up of 9.4 months, median overall survival was 17.3 months. According to the IMDC criteria, the rates of patients alive at 12 months in the good, intermediate, and poor prognostic groups were 100%, 74%, and 33%, respectively (p < 0.001). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11.5 months (95% CI 8.3-14.7); no difference was found based on duration of previous first-line therapy or nivolumab PFS. The overall response rate was 52%, stable disease was found as the best response in 25.3% and progressive disease in 22.7% of patients. Among the 35 patients with progressive disease on nivolumab, 26 (74.3%) patients showed complete/partial response or stable disease with cabozantinib as best response after nivolumab. The major limitations of this study are the retrospective nature and the short follow-up.

Conclusion

Cabozantinib was shown to be effective and active in patients previously receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, cabozantinib can be considered a valid therapeutic option for previously treated mRCC patients, irrespective of the type and duration of prior therapies.

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Safety and Efficacy of Nivolumab in Patients With Advanced Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results From the Phase IIIb/IV CheckMate 374 Study

McFarlane JJ, Kochenderfer MD, Olsen MR, et al.
Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2020 Jun 14
DOI: 10.1016/j.clgc.2020.06.002.
Free article

Abstract

Background

The open-label, phase IIIb/IV CheckMate 374 study (NCT02596035) was conducted to validate the safety and efficacy of flat-dose nivolumab monotherapy 240 mg every 2 weeks (Q2W) in previously treated advanced/metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Three cohorts included patients with predominantly clear cell histology, non-clear cell histologies, or brain metastases. We report safety and efficacy from the CheckMate 374 advanced clear cell RCC (ccRCC) cohort.

Patients and methods

Eligible patients received prior treatment regimens (1-2 antiangiogenic; 0-3 systemic) with progression on/after last treatment and ≤ 6 months of enrollment. Patients received nivolumab 240 mg Q2W for ≤ 24 months or until confirmed progression/unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was incidence of high-grade (grade 3-5) immune-mediated adverse events (IMAEs). Exploratory endpoints included objective response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival.

Results

Ninety-seven patients had advanced predominantly ccRCC; 75.3% received only 1 prior systemic regimen in the advanced/metastatic setting. After a median follow-up of 17 months (range, 0.4-26.9 months), no grade 5 IMAEs occurred, and 9.3% of patients reported grade 3/4 IMAEs (hepatitis, 4.1%; diabetes mellitus, 2.1%; nephritis and renal dysfunction, 1.0%; rash, 1.0%; adrenal insufficiency, 1.0%). The objective response rate was 22.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.8%-32.3%). Three patients had a complete response; 19 had partial responses. The median progression-free survival was 3.6 months (95% CI, 2.0-5.5 months). The median overall survival was 21.8 months (95% CI, 17.4 months to not estimable).

Conclusion

This study validates the safety and efficacy of nivolumab 240 mg Q2W flat-dose monotherapy for previously treated advanced ccRCC and adds to previous safety and efficacy data using the 3 mg/kg Q2W dose.

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Addition of Primary Metastatic Site on Bone, Brain, and Liver to IMDC Criteria in Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Validation Study

Massari F, Nunno V, Guida A, et al.
Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2020 Jun 27
DOI: 10.1016/j.clgc.2020.06.003.

Abstract

Background

The International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) criteria have been largely adopted in clinical practice. In a recent retrospective study, we assessed that the addition of the first site of metastatic disease to brain, bone, and liver improves prognostic stratification of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Here, we performed an external validation in patients with mRCC. Our aim was to evaluate if the addition of a new independent variable could improve IMDC prognosis prediction and reduce heterogeneity within risk categories.

Patients and methods

We selected all 1073 patients treated at a single institution for mRCC and included in the Institute Gustave Roussy Renal Cell Carcinoma database. All patients included received at least 1 line of targeted therapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors. Univariate and multivariate analyses (Cox regression model) were performed. Bootstrap validation of the final model was also carried out for internal validation. The IMDC modified classification was defined by the addition of the seventh variable, and we defined the modified IMDC good-risk criteria as 0 risks, intermediate-risk as 1 to 2 risks, and poor-risk as 3 or more risks.

Results

The presence of brain, bone, and/or liver as the first site of metastatic disease plus the other variables included in the IMDC score were statistically significant variables associated with overall survival (OS) after univariate and multivariate analysis and bootstrap validation. Finally, 122 (15%) patients had a modification of their initial risk category. The median OS in the poor-, intermediate-, and favorable-risk groups was 10, 26, and 52 months, respectively (P < .001). The bias-corrected concordance index in patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (n = 241) was 0.71.

Conclusion

The addition of brain, bone, and/or liver metastases as an additional variable to the other IMDC variables improves the prognostic predictive power of the model.

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

Castellano D, Maroto JP, Benzaghou F, et al.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2020 Sep;89:102062
DOI: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2020.102062
Free article

Abstract

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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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

Motzer RJ, Escudier B, McDermott D, et al.
J Immunother Cancer. 2020 Jul;8(2):e000891.
DOI: 10.1136/jitc-2020-000891.

Abstract

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.

Conclusion

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.

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

Manon de Vries-Brilland, Marine Gross-Goupil, Valérie Seegers
Eur J Cancer. 2020 Sep;136:76-83.
DOI 10.1016/j.ejca.2020.02.019.

Abstract

Background

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

Methods

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

Results

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

Conclusion

PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors exhibit limited activity as monotherapy in this pRCC population, which remains an unmet need. Our findings underline the need for further prospective clinical trials evaluating immune checkpoint inhibitor combinations in patients with pRCC.

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

Rodriguez-Vida A, Bamias A, Esteban E, et al.
BJU Int 2020 Jul 12
DOI: 10.1111/bju.15165

Abstract

Objective

Targeted therapies have been a mainstay of the renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment paradigm for the better part of two decades. Multikinase inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases (VEGF-TKIs) comprise nearly all targeted therapies in RCC, having been prospectively tested through large, multi-institutional phase III trials. Tivozanib is a VEGF-TKI with high selectivity for VEGF receptors 1–3. Tivozanib has been under investigation for nearly 15 years, with a robust portfolio of preclinical and clinical data. This review seeks to characterize tivozanib within the context of RCC by highlighting preclinical and early clinical trials alongside the phase III trials in RCC, TIVO-1, and TIVO-3. We also aim to explore further trials of tivozanib, whether in combination with other agents and/or in differing disease settings, while providing insight into the utility of tivozanib as a clinical tool for the management of RCC.

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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Tivozanib in renal cell carcinoma: a new approach to previously treated disease

Salgia NJ , Zengin ZB, Pal SK.
Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2020 May 22;12:1758835920923818.
DOI: 10.1177/1758835920923818

Abstract

Targeted therapies have been a mainstay of the renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment paradigm for the better part of two decades. Multikinase inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases (VEGF-TKIs) comprise nearly all targeted therapies in RCC, having been prospectively tested through large, multi-institutional phase III trials. Tivozanib is a VEGF-TKI with high selectivity for VEGF receptors 1–3. Tivozanib has been under investigation for nearly 15 years, with a robust portfolio of preclinical and clinical data. This review seeks to characterize tivozanib within the context of RCC by highlighting preclinical and early clinical trials alongside the phase III trials in RCC, TIVO-1, and TIVO-3. We also aim to explore further trials of tivozanib, whether in combination with other agents and/or in differing disease settings, while providing insight into the utility of tivozanib as a clinical tool for the management of RCC.

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