Lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab combination shows promise in metastatic kidney cancer

Interim results from an ongoing clinical trial of lenvatinib and pembrolizumab has shown promise in patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have already received an immune checkpoint inhibitor.

The trial included up to 360 patients with various cancers, of which 33 patients had metastatic clear cell RCC. The patients took a lenvatinib capsule each day with infusions of pembrolizumab every three weeks until the cancer progressed or treatment was stopped.

Progression-free survival was 11.3 months, overall response rate (for all 360 patients) was 64%, and disease control rate was 100%. It was too early to determine overall survival for these patients. Eighteen of the 33 patients had severe or life-threatening (grade 3 or 4) adverse events, the most common being diarrhoea, fatigue, and a feeling of uneasiness (dysphoria).

“These are very dramatic results,” said Dr Chung-Han Lee, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. “It’s the first data for looking at any of the (tyrosine kinase inhibitor/immunotherapy) combinations after people have already progressed on a checkpoint inhibitor. It’s essentially the only data that we have for this type of combination in this space.”

The trial will continue into 2020.

Read more in Cancer Network here

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