Adjuvant Treatment of Kidney Cancer Remains an Uncertainty, Says Expert

“Much more research” is needed to advance the adjuvant treatment of patients with kidney cancer, according to an expert from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

During the 2022 Society for Urologic Oncology (SUO) Annual Meeting, CancerNetwork® spoke with Axel Bex, MD, PhD, a urologic surgeon at the Specialist Centre For Kidney Cancer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and a professor at University College London, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, about his presentation on new developments in adjuvant therapy for renal cell carcinoma—a type of kidney cancer.

According to Bex, the only trial read out that indicated positive results in the field at this year’s meeting was the phase 3 KEYNOTE-564 trial (NCT03142334), which assessed pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in the adjuvant treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma following nephrectomy. Despite these findings, he says that there are more developments to be expected in the adjuvant management of renal cell carcinoma.


The most important thing is that the field is still uncertain. You have 1 trial out of 4 that has reported as a positive trial; the other 3 are negative. It's a developing field, there's still a lot of developments to be expected in the neoadjuvant space, as well. Some would say: "how can new agents come in now with these negative results?" But if you look across our own field, we look to melanoma, for example, they use neoadjuvant trials, they actually look at the pathological response. Then, the tumors have been resected and then decided about further adjuvant settings. Just summing it up, it's important to know that 3 trials failed in this setting, but it's by no means bad. Pembrolizumab is a standard-of-care option, which is most important to know. You have to do much more research.

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