Introduction: Dual immunotherapy (ipilimumab/nivolumab, IO/IO) and immunotherapy/tyrosine kinase inhibitor (IO/TKI) combinations (e.g. pembrolizumab/axitinib) are approved for the first-line treatment of intermediate/poor risk metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but there is limited comparative data between these two options. We sought to understand how oncologists decide between IO/IO vs. IO/TKI.
Methods: We sent a 10-question electronic survey centered on a patient scenario of intermediate/poor risk metastatic RCC to 294 academic/disease-focused and general oncologists in the US.
Results: We received 105 responses (36% response rate): 61% (64) of providers chose IO/IO, 39% (41) chose IO/TKI. 78% (82) of oncologists were academic or disease-focused, 22% (23) were general. Academic/disease-focused oncologists were significantly more likely to choose IO/IO (56/82, 68%) than general oncologists (8/23, 35%), P = .004. Among those who chose IO/IO, the perceived main issue with IO/TKI was: long-term toxicities - 31% (20), short-term toxicities - 28% (18), less effective - 28% (18), less convenient - 8% (5). Among those who chose IO/TKI, the perceived main issue with IO/IO was: short-term toxicities - 43% (17), less effective - 28% (11), long-term toxicities - 15% (6), and risk of death - 10% (4). 88% (92) of providers would be comfortable enrolling patients into a phase III trial comparing IO/IO vs. IO/TKI. We found no associations between therapy chosen by a provider and participation as PI in a trial of IO/IO or IO/TKI, or receipt of outside funding from an IO/IO or IO/TKI company.
Conclusion: In response to a patient scenario of intermediate/poor risk metastatic RCC, 61% of providers chose IO/IO, 39% chose IO/TKI. There was a significant association between type of practice and choice of therapy, with academic/disease-focused oncologists more likely to choose IO/IO. The majority of oncologists would be comfortable enrolling patients into a phase III trial comparing IO/IO vs. IO/TKI.
Keywords: Decision-making; Ipilimumab/Nivolumab; Kidney Cancer; Treatment Options.
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