Combining an anti-angiogenesis agent, which blocks blood vessel formation, with an immunotherapy agent, has shown promising anti-tumour activity in an early phase clinical trial in patients with advanced kidney cancer who had not been previously treated, says a new study.
The findings of the study involving the combination of anti-angiogenesis agent — axitinib (trade name Inlyta) – and the immunotherapy agent — pembrolizumab (trade name Keytruda) – were published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.
“Our results are unprecedented. The combination doubled the efficacy of the drugs when used alone and the treatment was found to be tolerable,” said Michael Atkins of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and principal investigator for the study.
“Specifically, over 90 percent of patients exhibited tumour shrinkage and the disease was kept under control for a median of over 20 months,” Atkins said.
The investigators started their phase-1 clinical trial of this combination in 2014 and enrolled 52 advanced renal cell carcinoma (the most common form of kidney cancer) patients who had not previously been treated for the disease.