Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

We’ve been hearing and writing about a substantial amount of news and information on various immuno-oncology developments over the last year, especially in metastatic melanoma and lung cancer, but despite renal cell cancer (RCC) being a proven immune-sensitive disease with known PD-L1 expression, it seems to be the poor cousin to the other two tumour types given the lag in data and relative media attention.

There’s actually quite a lot going on in this disease though, from biomarker work to phase I to III trials that are either ongoing or just started accruing.

We should be hearing much more about the role of anti-PD–1 and PD-L1 antibodies in RCC over the next couple of years, including data from some large randomised controlled trials, but what’s the current state of play?

With that in mind, I was delighted to catch up with David McDermott’s (DFCI) in-depth presentation at ASCO GU in San Francisco over the weekend.  It’s always unfortunate when an interesting talk is left for the final presentation on the last day of a conference, as only a few diehards will be there to catch it!  It was a well thought out discussion though and he covered a lot of interesting ground in this space.

Agents mentioned:
ipilimumab, nivolumab, MK–3475, MPDL3280A, LAG–3, TIM–3, PD-L2, IL–2, sunitinib, everolimus, bevacizumab

Companies mentioned:
BMS, Roche/Genentech, Merck, GSK, Novartis, Pfizer

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2 Responses to “ASCO GU 2014 Optimal targeting of anti PD-1 and PD-L1 therapies in renal cancer”

  1. AmandaT

    Just come across an intriguing vice versa for melanoma: http://ow.ly/tilMshttp://ow.ly/timtj.
    Patients with high tumour VEGF do worse on ipilimumab (6.6mo OS) and patients with low VEGF expression do better (12.9mo OS)… perhaps the VEGF/immune axis is more interdependent than is currently apparent?… in which case the outcomes of the VEGF combi trials you describe here will be fascinating!

    • maverickny

      Good catch, Amanda! Funnily enough I was doing a quick interview with Dr Hodi a few minutes ago about this very topic. Will do an update on this fascinating finding this week once I see what the companies have to say about the idea more broadly.

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