Dr. Pal on the Frontline Approval of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in mRCC

Sumanta Kumar Pal, MD

Sumanta Kumar Pal, MD, a medical oncologist at City of Hope, discusses the frontline approval of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Pal has been involved with the development of nivolumab and ipilimumab in RCC from the phase I clinical trial onward. He investigated the combination in the CheckMate-016 study, which was quickly followed by the large phase III CheckMate-214 trial. That study showed a very convincing and compelling improvement in overall survival with the combination in comparison with sunitinib (Sutent), explains Pal.

It has had a relatively slow uptake at City of Hope, says Pal. There are a number of other frontline combinations that are under investigation, including the combination of cabozantinib (Cabometyx) with atezolizumab (Tecentriq). Though the immunotherapeutic data were impressive, says Pal, the combination of a very potent VEGF inhibitor with a very potent immunotherapy-based agent may potentially be the path forward, he concludes.
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