Combination immunotherapy study for renal cancer at Providence Cancer Institute

July 17, 2019

T-cell checkpoint antibodies have revolutionized immunotherapy for cancer, including renal cancer. At Providence Cancer Institute, several clinical trials of these novel approaches are now open to patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), including a new phase III study evaluating the effectiveness of checkpoint immunotherapy in combination with an investigational cytokine agent, compared to standard-of-care targeted therapy:

Nivolumab (Opdivo) is a fully human monoclonal antibody approved by the FDA for RCC and several other cancers. Nivolumab binds to a molecule called PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) on immune cells and promotes anti-tumor effects. NKTR-214 is an experimental cytokine designed to target CD122, a protein found on certain immune cells, to expand these cells to promote their anti-tumor effects. Sunitinib (Sutent) and cabozantinib (Cometriq, Cabometyx) are tyrosine kinase inhibitors approved for RCC.  

Investigators will evaluate the overall response rate and overall survival of NKTR-214 combined with nivolumab to that of sunitinib or cabozantinib in intermediate and poor-risk patients with previously untreated advanced RCC. 

Making progress in immunotherapy

This study is led by Brendan Curti, M.D., director of Genitourinary Oncology Research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Center. Dr. Curti contributed to the clinical development of nivolumab for renal cancer, and is an active investigator of NKTR-214 in several types of cancer.

One of the first applications of immunotherapy in cancer medicine was the use of high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) in patients with renal cancer. Under Dr. Curti’s leadership, Providence Cancer Institute is home to the largest IL-2 program in Oregon for patients with metastatic renal cancer, and is among the top five nationwide. 

More renal cancer studies

Providence Cancer Institute currently has eight other studies open for patients with renal cancer, including studies for advanced and metastatic disease. See all renal cancer studies

New research studies are added frequently. Please visit our website to see all studies in all cancer types available at Providence Cancer Institute.

To refer patients to any of these studies, call Providence Cancer Institute’s Clinical Research office at 503-215-2614 or submit a referral form.