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First-line immuno-oncology combination therapies in metastatic renal-cell carcinoma: results from the international metastatic renal-cell carcinoma database consortium

  • Shaan Dudani 1,
  • Jeffrey Graham 2,
  • J. Connor Wells 1,
  • Ziad Bakouny 3,
  • Sumanta K. Pal 4,
  • Nazli Dizman 4,
  • Frede Donskov 5,
  • Camillo Porta 6,
  • Guillermo de Velasco 7,
  • Aaron Hansen 8,
  • Marco Iafolla 8,
  • Benoit Beuselinck 9,
  • Ulka N. Vaishampayan 10,
  • Lori A. Wood 11,
  • Elizabeth Liow 12,
  • Flora Yan 13,
  • Takeshi Yuasa 14,
  • Georg A. Bjarnason 15,
  • Toni K. Choueiri 3,
  • Daniel Y.C. Heng 1
1 Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada 2 CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada 3 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA 4 City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA, USA 5 Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark 6 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia and Division of Translational Oncology, IRCCS Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Pavia, Italy 7 University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain 8 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada 9 University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven Cancer Institute, Leuven, Belgium 10 Karmanos Cancer Center, Detroit, MI, USA 11 Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada 12 Eastern Health, Box Hill, Australia 13 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA 14 Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan 15 Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication: European Urology, Volume 76, Issue 6, December 2020, Pages 861-867


In metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (mRCC), recent data have shown efficacy of first-line ipilimumab and nivolumab (ipi-nivo) as well as immuno-oncology (IO)/vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor combinations. Comparative data between these strategies are limited.


To compare the efficacy of ipi-nivo versus IO-VEGF (IOVE) combinations in mRCC, and describe practice patterns and effectiveness of second-line therapies.

Design, setting, and participants

Using the International Metastatic Renal-cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) dataset, patients treated with any first-line IOVE combination were compared with those treated with ipi-nivo.


All patients received first-line IO combination therapies.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

First- and second-line response rates, time to treatment failure (TTF), time to next treatment (TNT), and overall survival (OS) were analysed. Hazard ratios were adjusted for IMDC risk factors.

Results and limitations

In total, 113 patients received IOVE combinations and 75 received ipi-nivo. For IOVE combinations versus ipi-nivo, first-line response rates were 33% versus 40% (between-group difference 7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] –8% to 22%, p = 0.4), TTF was 14.3 versus 10.2 mo (p = 0.2), TNT was 19.7 versus 17.9 mo (p = 0.4), and median OS was immature but not statistically different (p = 0.17). Adjusted hazard ratios for TTF, TNT, and OS were 0.71 (95% CI 0.46–1.12, p = 0.14), 0.65 (95% CI 0.38–1.11, p = 0.11), and 1.74 (95% CI 0.82–3.68, p = 0.14), respectively. Sixty-four (34%) patients received second-line treatment. In patients receiving subsequent VEGF-based therapy, second-line response rates were lower in the IOVE cohort than in the ipi-nivo cohort (15% vs 45%; between-group difference 30%, 95% CI 3–57%, p = 0.04; n = 40), though second-line TTF was not significantly different (3.7 vs 5.4 mo; p = 0.4; n = 55). Limitations include the study’s retrospective design and sample size.


There were no significant differences in first-line outcomes between IOVE combinations and ipi-nivo. Most patients received VEGF-based therapy in the second line. In this group, second-line response rate was greater in patients who received ipi-nivo initially.