This study aimed to compare progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and cancer-specific survival (CSS) in Heng intermediate-risk patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated with first-line immunotherapy (IT) or targeted therapy (TT).
From 2000 to 2017, a total of 186 intermediate-risk mRCC patients treated with first-line IT (n=64, 34.4%) or TT (n=122, 65.6%) were retrospectively evaluated for PFS, OS, and CSS using the Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards models for their risk factors with a p-value for significance of <0.05.
During a median 5.08-month of systemic treatment and 92.22 months of follow-up, the median PFS, OS, and CSS were 5.16, 18.44, and 19.04 months, respectively. The comparison of baseline characteristics between the two groups showed a significantly higher rate of T3-4 stages, a lower rate of high nuclear grades, shorter follow-up, longer treatment durations, lesser rates of cytoreductive nephrectomy, a lower objective response rate, and no cases of complete response in the TT group compared with the IT group (p<0.05). The survival comparisons between the two groups showed that PFS was significantly different, whereas OS and CSS were not significantly different. The multivariate analyses showed that synchronous metastatic type(hazard ratio [HR], 2.285), IT (HR, 1.746), and treatment-free interval <1 year (HR, 1.926) were significant factors for PFS, whereas none of the risk factors were significant for OS or CSS.
TT significantly prolonged PFS compared with IT, whereas long-term survival was not significantly different in intermediate-risk mRCC patients.

© The Korean Urological Association, 2020.