Efficacy of Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab According to Number of IMDC Risk Factors in CheckMate 214

Eur Urol. 2020 Apr;77(4):449-453. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2019.10.025. Epub 2019 Nov 13.


In the randomized, open-label, phase 3 CheckMate 214 trial, nivolumab plus ipilimumab (nivolumab 3 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 3 wk for four doses, then nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 wk) had superior efficacy over sunitinib (50 mg once daily, 4 wk on, 2 wk off) in patients with untreated International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) intermediate- or poor-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma; the benefits were sustained through extended follow-up. To better characterize the association between outcomes and IMDC risk in CheckMate 214, we completed a post hoc analysis (n = 1051) of efficacy by the number of IMDC risk factors. The investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS), and investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors v1.1 were evaluated. ORR with nivolumab plus ipilimumab was consistent across zero to six IMDC risk factors, whereas with sunitinib it decreased with increasing number of risk factors. Benefits of nivolumab plus ipilimumab over sunitinib in terms of ORR (40-44% vs 16-38%), OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.50-0.72), and PFS (HR 0.44-0.86) were consistently observed in subgroups with one, two, three, or four to six IMDC risk factors (p < 0.05 for treatment × no. of risk factors interaction). These results demonstrate the benefit of first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab over sunitinib across all intermediate-risk and poor-risk groups, regardless of the number of IMDC risk factors. PATIENT SUMMARY: This report from the CheckMate 214 study describes a consistent efficacy benefit with first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab over first-line sunitinib in all groups of patients with intermediate-risk or poor-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma, regardless of the number of risk factors they had before starting treatment. We conclude that there is a benefit of first-line treatment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab for all intermediate-risk patients, including those with one or two risk factors, and for all poor-risk patients, independent of the number of risk factors.

Keywords: CheckMate 214; Ipilimumab; Nivolumab; Phase 3.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / administration & dosage*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / mortality
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab / administration & dosage*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nivolumab / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sunitinib / administration & dosage*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Ipilimumab
  • Nivolumab
  • Sunitinib