Nivo/Ipi Modestly Effective in Patients with Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma

By Leah Lawrence - Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Immunotherapy treatment with combination nivolumab plus ipilimumab showed “modest clinical efficacy” in patients with non-clear cell carcinoma (nccRCC) in a study of real-world data from Japan.

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab is a standard treatment for metastatic clear cell carcinoma (ccRCC), but its use and efficacy in nccRCC had yet to be examined. Researchers retrospectively analyzed data from 22 patients with metastatic or locally advanced unresectable nccRCC treated with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and compared them with 107 patients with ccRCC.

The objective response rate in patients with nccRCC was 36% and included three complete and five partial responses. The objective response rate in ccRCC was 50%.

Overall survival was significantly shorter in patients with nccRCC than with clear cell histology. Median overall survival was 20.8 months for nccRCC compared with those not reached (P=0.04).

The researchers noted that “possible reasons for shorter overall survival in nccRCC patients might be poor responses to second-line therapy and relatively fewer patients with nccRCC receiving local treatment.

No difference in progression-free survival was noted, and rates of adverse events were similar between the two histologies.

This study was limited by its retrospective nature and the small number of patients.

“To elucidate the therapeutic efficacy of nivolumab plus ipilimumab for nccRCC, the results of prospective studies with large cohorts such as SUNNIFORECAST, which is comparing nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus standard of care for previously untreated advanced/ metastatic nccRCC, are awaited,” the researchers concluded.