Nivolumab plus cabozantinib versus sunitinib for first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma: extended follow-up from the phase III randomised CheckMate 9ER trial

T. Powles*, M. Burotto, B. Escudier, A. B. Apolo, M. T. Bourlon, A. Y. Shah, C. Suárez, C. Porta, C. H. Barrios, M. Richardet, H. Gurney, E. R. Kessler, Y. Tomita, J. Bedke, S. George, C. Scheffold, P. Wang, V. Fedorov, R. J. Motzer, T. K. Choueiri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Nivolumab plus cabozantinib (NIVO + CABO) was approved for first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) based on superiority versus sunitinib (SUN) in the phase III CheckMate 9ER trial (18.1 months median survival follow-up per database lock date); efficacy benefit was maintained with an extended 32.9 months of median survival follow-up. We report updated efficacy and safety after 44.0 months of median survival follow-up in intent-to-treat (ITT) patients and additional subgroup analyses, including outcomes by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) prognostic risk score. Patients and methods: Patients with treatment-naïve aRCC received NIVO 240 mg every 2 weeks plus CABO 40 mg once daily or SUN 50 mg for 4 weeks (6-week cycles), until disease progression/unacceptable toxicity (maximum NIVO treatment, 2 years). Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) per blinded independent central review (BICR). Secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR) per BICR, and safety and tolerability. Results: Overall, 323 patients were randomised to NIVO + CABO and 328 to SUN. Median PFS was improved with NIVO + CABO versus SUN [16.6 versus 8.4 months; hazard ratio (HR) 0.59; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.71]; median OS favoured NIVO + CABO versus SUN (49.5 versus 35.5 months; HR 0.70; 95% CI 0.56-0.87). ORR (95% CI) was higher with NIVO + CABO versus SUN [56% (50% to 62%) versus 28% (23% to 33%)]; 13% versus 5% of patients achieved complete response, and median duration of response was 22.1 months versus 16.1 months, respectively. PFS and OS favoured NIVO + CABO over SUN across intermediate, poor and intermediate/poor IMDC risk subgroups; higher ORR and complete response rates were seen with NIVO + CABO versus SUN regardless of IMDC risk subgroup. Any-grade (grade ≥3) treatment-related adverse events occurred in 97% (67%) versus 93% (55%) of patients treated with NIVO + CABO versus SUN. Conclusions: After extended follow-up, NIVO + CABO maintained survival and response benefits; safety remained consistent with previous follow-ups. These results continue to support NIVO + CABO as a first-line treatment for aRCC. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03141177.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102994
JournalESMO Open
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

Keywords

  • IMDC
  • cabozantinib
  • immunotherapy
  • nivolumab
  • phase III
  • renal cell carcinoma

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