The superior efficacy of nivolumab plus ipilimumab compared with sunitinib in the treatment of intermediate- or poor-risk patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was maintained with extended follow-up, according to results of the CheckMate 214 trial.

The ongoing, phase 3 CheckMate 214 trial randomly assigned 1096 patients with RCC to receive nivolumab plus ipilimumab or sunitinib. At a prespecified interim analysis of 17.5 months, nivolumab plus ipilimumab showed longer overall survival, with a higher proportion of patients achieving objective response compared with sunitinib.

However, the researchers added, “long-term updates crucially inform the value of immunotherapy-based regimens.”

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Now, at a median follow-up of 32.4 months — for patients with intermediate- or poor-risk disease — nivolumab plus ipilimumab continued to provide superior progression-free survival (median 8.2 months vs 8.3 months; P =.0014) with a greater proportion of patients achieving an objective response rate (42% vs 29%; P =.0001) compared with sunitinib.

“The progression-free survival curves for the two treatment groups only began to separate after around 9 months, and the 30-month progression-free survival probability was 28% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23–33) in the nivolumab plus ipilimumab group versus 12% (95% CI, 8–16) in the sunitinib group,” the researchers wrote.

In addition, the combination significantly improved overall survival compared with sunitinib (not reached vs 26.6 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.66; 95% CI, 0.54-0.80; P <.0001).

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor