Sumanta K. Pal, MD, FASCO, on CONTACT-03 Trial and Investigating Targeted Therapy, Immunotherapy for Patients with RCC

Pal detailed the plan for the CONTACT-03 study and what the research team hopes to see with the data.

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, FASCO, spoke with CancerNetwork® about the plan for the CONTACT-03 study (NCT04338269), which is examining cabozantinib (Cabometyx) either alone or in combination with atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in renal cell carcinoma following progression on immune checkpoint inhibitors, and what the research team hopes to see with the data, from an abstract presented at the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.


What I would suggest is that, at this point in time, the current clinical practice is that patients receive checkpoint inhibitors in the upfront setting in combination with targeted therapy. And then after that, targeted therapy should be the standard. But we actually see a lot of patients still receiving targeted therapy with immunotherapy. And right now, there’s really no basis for that. What we’re hoping to do with the CONTACT-03 study is either add some credibility to that approach, or to demonstrate that there is no benefit with a re-challenge with immunotherapy. I think that data is really vital because without it, there’s really no substantiation for using checkpoint inhibitors beyond initial progression, and there’s the chance that we could be hurting patients with added toxicity, but no additional benefit.


Pal SK, Albiges L, Rodriguez CS, et al. CONTACT-03: Randomized, open-label phase III study of atezolizumab plus cabozantinib versus cabozantinib monotherapy following progression on/after immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment in patients with advanced/metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Presented at: 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. Abstract TPS370.