Chung-Han Lee, MD, PhD, on TKI/IO Combination Therapy for Non–Clear Cell RCC

At ASCO 2021, Chung-Han Lee, MD, PhD, discussed an ongoing trial looking at pembrolizumab plus lenvatinib as frontline therapy for non–clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

CancerNetwork® sat down with Chung-Han Lee, MD, PhD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to talk about potential implications of using frontline pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and lenvatinib (Lenvima) for non–clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which will be examined in the phase 2 KEYNOTE-B61 trial (NCT04704219) that is currently recruiting patients. He discussed how patients respond to immune check point inhibitors and what benefits they could see from using this specific combination.


What we already know about the non­–clear cell [RCC] space is that pembrolizumab is a very active agent. However, not everyone responds [with] the addition of an a tyrosine kinase inhibitor to an immune checkpoint inhibitor. We do hope to see continued responses. I think one of the key questions that we hope to answer eventually, is whether or not they’re distinct subpopulations that particularly benefit from this type of combination, and also whether or not these 2 compounds interact with each other in such a way that provides synergism.


Chung-Han L, Chenxiag L, Rodolfo PF, et al. Open-label phase 2 study of pembrolizumab in combination with lenvatinib as first-line treatment for non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (nccRCC). J Clin Oncol. 39;2021(suppl 15):TPS4595. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.TPS4595