Three-drug combination slows progression of advanced kidney cancer

Credit: Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash

Introduction to Study Findings

Researchers have discovered that adding a targeted kinase inhibitor to a two-drug immunotherapy combination can slow the progression of advanced kidney cancer in patients who have not previously been treated.

The study was led by Dr. Toni Choueiri from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Understanding the Trial: COSMIC-313

The COSMIC-313 study evaluated the combination of the kinase inhibitor cabozantinib with checkpoint-blockers nivolumab and ipilimumab in treating advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

This type of cancer is often intermediate or poor risk, making effective treatment crucial. The results of this study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 10.

Study Results: A Significant Impact on Progression-Free Survival

Patients who received the three-drug combination experienced significantly improved progression-free survival.

This means their cancer did not worsen for a longer period of time compared to those who received only the two immunotherapy drugs.

This improvement resulted in a 27% lower risk of cancer progression or death for patients on the three-drug combination.

The specific length of the progression-free survival was not yet determined for the three-drug patient group.

However, the median progression-free survival for patients receiving just nivolumab and ipilimumab was 11.3 months.

Why This Study Matters

This study is the first to evaluate the benefits of using three treatments, including cabozantinib, versus just two immune-oncology treatments.

Its goal was to determine if adding cabozantinib could improve outcomes for patients with advanced RCC.

According to Dr. Choueiri, the initial findings provide a significant progression-free survival benefit. They also offer a clear picture of the efficacy and safety profile of this three-drug therapy.

Trial Continuation and Future Implications

At this stage of the trial, there was no significant survival benefit for the three-drug combination. Therefore, the trial will continue to its next phase, which involves analyzing overall survival.

The trial involved 855 previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell cancer.

They were at intermediate or poor risk for survival according to the International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium (IMDC) risk model.

Cabozantinib, nivolumab, and ipilimumab work in tandem to inhibit cancer-promoting pathways and enhance the response to checkpoint inhibitors.

This combination could offer a significant benefit in treating advanced kidney cancer.

The results of the study were previously presented at the ESMO Congress 2022 in Paris.

If you care about kidney health, please read studies about how to protect your kidneys from diabetes, and scientists find the key to treatment of kidney diseases.

For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about how to live long with kidney disease,  and common painkillers may harm heart, kidneys and more.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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