Dr. David F. McDermott on Nivolumab in RCC


David F. McDermott, MD, director of the Biologic Therapy Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discuses nivolumab (Opdivo) in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

In the phase III CheckMate-025 trial, nivolumab was significantly superior to everolimus (Afinitor) in patients who had failed prior antiangiogenic therapy, with improvements in overall survival (OS), quality of life, and safety.

The phase trial is about the cleanest study that we have ever had in kidney cancer, said McDermott. There were clear improvements in overall survival (OS), quality of life, and safety. There were meaningful improvements and not just statistically significant improvements, he added.

However, there are still challenges with the drug, said McDermott. Selection needs to be improved, as over one-third of patients don’t seem to benefit much from nivolumab.

Combinations should also be considered, he said.

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