Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a type of kidney cancer that originates in small tubes in the kidney that transport primary urine. Sunitinib is given as the standard care to patients with renal cell carcinoma; however, recent trials also suggest that avelumab-axitinib combination could also be a potential cure. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of avelumab plus axitinib in comparison with the standard care of sunitinib.

This is a phase-3 randomized trial that included a total of 886 patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma. The patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive avelumab intravenously plus axitinib orally twice daily (n=442) or sunitinib (n=444) orally once daily. The duration of the trial was 4 weeks, and the primary outcomes of the study were overall and progression-free survival among patients.

Of 886 patients randomized, 560 had PD-L1–positive tumors (63.2%). Among these patients, the median progression-free survival was 13.8 months with avelumab plus axitinib and 7.2 months with sunitinib. In all participants, the median progression-free survival was 13.8 months with avelumab plus axitinib and 8.4 months with sunitinib. The overall survival at the median follow-up of 11.6 months was 55.2% with avelumab plus axitinib and 25.5% with sunitinib.

The research concluded that in patients with renal cell carcinoma, avelumab plus axitinib resulted in longer progression-free and overall survival than sunitinib.

Ref: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1816047