Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) scenario has radically changed with the advent of immunotherapy; in this setting, the identification of predictive and prognostic factors represents an urgent clinical need to evaluate which patients are the best candidate for an immunotherapy approach. The aim of our study was to analyze the association between nivolumab in pretreated patients with metastatic RCC and clinicopathological features, metastatic sites, and clinical outcomes.
A total of 37 patients treated between January 2017 and April 2020 in our institution were retrospectively evaluated. All patients received nivolumab as second- or later-line of therapy after progression on previous tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) from immunotherapy start and OS from first-line start. Univariate analysis was performed through the log-rank test and a Cox regression proportional hazards model was employed in multivariable analysis.
Of the 12 variables analyzed, 4 were significantly associated with prognoses at multivariate analysis. Cox proportional hazard ratio models confirmed that International Metastatic Renal-Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) risk group, liver metastases at diagnosis, and central nervous system (CNS) metastases at diagnosis were associated with worse OS with an estimated hazard ratio of 4.76 [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.05-19.8] for liver metastases and 2.27 (95% CI, 1.13-28.9) for CNS metastases. Pancreatic metastases at diagnosis were correlated to a better prognosis with an estimated hazard ratio of 0.15 (95% CI, 0.02-0.38).
IMDC risk group, liver metastases at diagnosis, and CNS metastases at diagnosis may identify a population of patients treated with immunotherapy in second- or later-line associated with worse prognosis.