Upcoming event

Phase 3 study of first-line treatment with pembrolizumab + belzutifan + lenvatinib or pembrolizumab/quavonlimab + lenvatinib versus pembrolizumab + lenvatinib for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC)

  • Toni K. Choueiri,
  • Elizabeth R. Plimack,
  • Thomas Powles,
  • Martin H Voss,
  • Howard Gurney,
  • Rachel Kloss Silverman,
  • Rodolfo F. Perini,
  • Karla Rodriguez-Lopez,
  • Brian I. Rini


Combination therapy with the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor lenvatinib showed antitumor activity as first-line treatment for advanced clear cell RCC (ccRCC) in the phase 3 KEYNOTE-581/CLEAR study (NCT02811861). Antitumor activity has also been shown with the hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF-2α) inhibitor belzutifan (MK-6482) in ccRCC and with MK-1308A (coformulation of pembrolizumab and the CTLA-4 inhibitor quavonlimab) in non–small cell lung cancer. Therefore, HIF-2α or CTLA-4 inhibition with a PD-1 and VEGF inhibition backbone combination may provide additional benefit as first-line treatment in ccRCC. This open-label, randomized, phase 3 study (NCT04736706) will compare first-line treatment with the novel combination therapies pembrolizumab + belzutifan + lenvatinib (arm A) or MK-1308A + lenvatinib (arm B) with pembrolizumab + lenvatinib (arm C) for advanced RCC.


Approximately 1,431 adults with metastatic ccRCC, measurable disease per RECIST v1.1, and KPS score ≥70% who had not previously undergone systemic therapy for advanced ccRCC will be enrolled. Patients will be randomly assigned 1:1:1 to arm A (belzutifan 120 mg + lenvatinib 20 mg orally once daily [QD] + pembrolizumab 400 mg IV every 6 weeks [Q6W]), arm B (MK-1308A [quavonlimab 25 mg + pembrolizumab 400 mg] IV [Q6W] and lenvatinib 20 mg orally QD), or arm C (pembrolizumab 400 mg IV [Q6W] + lenvatinib 20 mg orally QD). Treatment will continue until documented disease progression, withdrawal of consent, or other discontinuation event; patients will receive pembrolizumab and MK-1308A for up to 18 cycles (~2 years). Stratification factors are International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) score (favorable vs intermediate vs poor), region of the world (North America vs Western Europe vs rest of world), and sarcomatoid features (yes vs no). Response will be assessed by CT or MRI per RECIST v1.1 by blinded independent central review (BICR) at week 12 from randomization, Q6W through week 78, and every 12 weeks thereafter. Adverse events and serious adverse events will be monitored throughout the study and for 90 days after treatment. Dual primary end points are progression-free survival per RECIST v1.1 by BICR and overall survival for arm A or arm B versus arm C in patients with IMDC intermediate/poor status and in all patients regardless of IMDC status. Secondary end points are objective response rate and duration of response per RECIST v1.1 by BICR, patient-reported outcomes, and safety. The study is recruiting patients at sites across, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Tags: ASCO GU22