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Novel Immunotherapy Approaches Moving Through RCC Pipeline

Danielle Bucco
Published: Thursday, Oct 12, 2017

Matthew R. Zibelman, MD

Matthew R. Zibelman, MD
Immunotherapy combinations are showing significant potential for the treatment of patients with kidney cancer, according to Matthew R. Zibelman, MD.

on Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma and Bladder Cancer, Zibelman, an assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, discussed the promise of immunotherapy combinations for patients with kidney cancer.

OncLive: Please provide an overview of your presentation.

Zibelman: I spoke about novel immunotherapy options for patients with kidney cancer. I reviewed immunotherapy options that are currently out there with the PD-1 pathway blockade. I also discussed the regimens that are coming on the horizon, which are mostly combinations with nivolumab and other checkpoint inhibitors, TKIs, and other novel agents, as well. 

Is there a regimen that you find to be the most promising?

Recently, there were data about nivolumab and ipilimumab that showed a benefit in the first-line treatment of patients. There is a high chance that this is going to be a combination we will be using in standard practice soon. The combinations with immunotherapy and the oral TKIs are very promising and may be better tolerated. As time goes on, it will be between those combinations and attempting to identify which groups are better for one versus the other. 

What does the safety profile look like for nivolumab and ipilimumab?

It is more toxic to give the combination. Ipilimumab and nivolumab clearly have increased toxicity, which does somewhat limit it. However, we are getting more used to managing that toxicity. About 40% of patients seem to have significant side effects, which needs to be taken into consideration. Combinations that have similar efficacy, but are even better tolerated, would a great asset to the treatment landscape.

Are there any ongoing trials that you believe could show promise?

All of the phase III combination studies are quite promising. PD-1 pathway agents with the TKIs are all showing potential and may all end up with some similar information. They are all worthwhile. 
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