OBJECTIVE: To report the safety and efficacy results of patients enrolled in the Italian Nivolumab Renal Cell Cancer Expanded Access Programme.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) previously treated with agents targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway were eligible to receive nivolumab 3 mg/kg once every 2 weeks. Patients included in the analysis had received ≥1 dose of nivolumab and were monitored for adverse events (AEs) using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v.4.0.
RESULTS: A total of 389 patients were enrolled between July 2015 and April 2016, of whom 18% were aged ≥75 years, 6.7% had non-clear cell RCC, 49.6% had bone and 8.2% brain metastases, and 79% had received ≥2 previous lines of therapy. The most common any-grade treatment-related AEs were fatigue (13%) and rash (9%). Twenty-two patients (5.7%) discontinued treatment because of AEs. There were no treatment-related deaths. The objective response rate was 23.1%. At a median follow-up of 12 months, the median progression-free survival was 4.5 months (95% confidence interval 3.7-6.2) and the 12-month overall survival rate was 63%. Similar survival rates were reported among patients with non-clear-cell histology, elderly patients, those with bone and/or brain metastases, and those who had received prior first-line sunitinib or pazopanib, or prior everolimus.
CONCLUSION: The safety and efficacy observed were consistent with those reported in the pivotal Checkmate 025 trial. Results in patients with non-clear-cell mRCC who were elderly, pretreated with everolimus, and had bone and/or brain metastases encourage the use of nivolumab in these categories of patients.