Safety and efficacy of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with advanced non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma: results from the phase 3b/4 CheckMate 920 trial

Scott S. Tykodi, Lucio N. Gordan, Robert S. Alter, Edward Arrowsmith, Michael R. Harrison, Ivor Percent, Rakesh Singal, Peter Van Veldhuizen, Daniel J. George, Thomas Hutson, Joshua Zhang, Jesus Zoco, Jennifer L. Johansen, Arash Rezazadeh Kalebasty

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2 Scopus citations


Background CheckMate 920 (NCT02982954) is a multicohort, phase 3b/4 clinical trial of nivolumab plus ipilimumab treatment in predominantly US community-based patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and clinical features mostly excluded from phase 3 trials. We report safety and efficacy results from the advanced non-clear cell RCC (nccRCC) cohort of CheckMate 920. Methods Patients with previously untreated advanced/metastatic nccRCC, Karnofsky performance status ≥70%, and any International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium risk received up to four doses of nivolumab 3 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 3 weeks followed by nivolumab 480 mg every 4 weeks for ≤2 years or until disease progression/unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was incidence of grade ≥3 immune-mediated adverse events (AEs) within 100 days of last dose of study drug. Key secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS; both investigator-assessed), time to response (TTR), and duration of response (DOR), all using RECIST V.1.1. Overall survival (OS) was exploratory. Results Fifty-two patients with nccRCC (unclassified histology, 42.3%; papillary, 34.6%; chromophobe, 13.5%; translocation-associated, 3.8%; collecting duct, 3.8%; renal medullary, 1.9%) received treatment. With 24.1 months minimum study follow-up, median duration of therapy (range) was 3.5 (0.0-25.8) months for nivolumab and 2.1 (0.0-3.9) months for ipilimumab. Median (range) number of doses received was 4.5 (1-28) for nivolumab and 4.0 (1-4) for ipilimumab. Grade 3-4 immune-mediated AEs were diarrhea/colitis (7.7%), rash (5.8%), nephritis and renal dysfunction (3.8%), hepatitis (1.9%), adrenal insufficiency (1.9%), and hypophysitis (1.9%). No grade 5 immune-mediated AEs occurred. ORR (n=46) was 19.6% (95% CI 9.4 to 33.9). Two patients achieved complete response (papillary, n=1; unclassified, n=1), seven achieved partial response (papillary, n=4; unclassified, n=3), and 17 had stable disease. Median TTR was 2.8 (range 2.1-14.8) months. Median DOR was not reached (range 0.0+-27.8+); eight of nine responders remain without reported progression. Median PFS (n=52) was 3.7 (95% CI 2.7 to 4.6) months. Median OS (n=52) was 21.2 (95% CI 16.6 to not estimable) months. Conclusions Nivolumab plus ipilimumab for previously untreated advanced nccRCC showed no new safety signals and encouraging antitumor activity. Trial registration number NCT02982954.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere003844
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 24 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • combination
  • drug therapy
  • immunotherapy
  • kidney neoplasms
  • urologic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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