Conference Coverage

Nivo-cabo combo joins advanced RCC treatment ranks



Making choices

Dr. Berthold acknowledged the benefit that having an additional therapy offers clinicians and patients.

“What we still need to learn here is, ‘Are there any patient populations who may benefit more on this combination compared with other combinations?’ ” he said. “Cabozantinib is quite a unique TKI which may target better bone metastases, for example, so I think there are things we need to learn from further data and longer follow-up.”

Camillo Porta, MD, from the University of Bari (Italy), the invited discussant for the presidential symposium, urged caution in comparing the three regimens, owing to differences in the drug used, study endpoints, baseline patient characteristics, and the distribution of patients among different prognostic groups.

When it comes to deciding between frontline regimens, “the only possible, though highly empiric, driver of our therapeutical choice should be the biological aggressiveness of the tumor,” he said.

For patients with highly aggressive disease, the use of an immune checkpoint inhibitor plus a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)–directed TKI may help control disease long enough to give the checkpoint inhibitor time to work.

“Otherwise, one could head for the long-term benefit of the immune combo as well as for complete responses, trying to spare [patients] the additional toxicities deriving from the continuous use of the VEGFR TKI,” he added.

Dr. Porta noted that when considering the trade-off between efficacy and safety in the first-line setting, many patients are willing to accept more toxicities in exchange for clinical benefit.

The study was sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Choueri disclosed consultancy fees, advisory board activity, manuscript preparation, travel/lodging, honoraria, and grants for clinical trials from BMS and others. Dr. Berthold disclosed an advisory role for Ipsen, BMS, Merck, and Pfizer. Dr. Porta disclosed advisory/consulting activities and speakers bureau participation for BMS and others.

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