Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has typically been considered an immunogenic malignancy with responses seen to IL-2 and IFN-α. Response rates, however, were low and at the cost of considerable toxicity and as such, agents targeting angiogenesis have become the mainstay of treatment. Nivolumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD-1 thereby upregulating the host immune response against tumor cells. Nivolumab has emerged as a promising new therapy in advanced malignancies, and the first agent to show survival advantage in patients failing prior VEGFR-targeted therapy in metastatic RCC. This review summarizes the present evidence, toxicity profile, potential predictive biomarkers and promising future strategies with nivolumab in metastatic RCC.
- renal cell carcinoma