Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial comparing nivolumab with everolimus for advanced kidney cancer (CA209025)
This trial compared nivolumab (BMS-936558) with everolimus to treat cancer that had grown outside the kidneys or had spread to another part of the body. It was for people with the most common type of kidney cancer called renal cell cancer.
More about this trial
Doctors often treat advanced kidney cancer with biological therapies that block blood vessel growth to cancer cells. These are called anti angiogenic drugs. If your cancer had stopped responding to these drugs, you may have another drug called everolimus.
The aim of the trial was to see if nivolumab worked better than everolimus for advanced renal cell cancer in people who already had other anti angiogenic drugs.
Summary of results
The trial team found nivolumab was better than everolimus for people with advanced renal cell cancer.
- 410 had nivolumab
- 411 had everolimus
The team looked at how well the 2 treatments worked.
For those who had nivolumab
- in 4 people their cancer had completely gone (
- in 99 people their cancer had shrunk (
For those who had everolimus
- 2 people had a complete response
- 20 people had a partial response
The trial team looked at the number of people who had died. They found that
- in the nivolumab group it was 183
- in the everolimus group it was 215
Overall the average length of time people lived was
- 25 months for those who had nivolumab
- just over 19½ months for those who had everolimus
79 out of every 100 people (79%) who had nivolumab had side effects.
88 out of every 100 people (88%) who had everolimus had side effects.
The most common side effects of nivolumab were
- feeling sick
The most common side effects of everolimus were
- feeling sick
- sore mouth
- a drop in red blood cells
People were asked questions about how their cancer and any treatment affected their day to day life. This called
At the start of the trial the average score for quality of life was the same in each group.
During the trial the average score for those having nivolumab increased. This means that people rated their ability to manage day to day living as better than those having everolimuis. And they reported coping with their treatment more easily.
At the end of the trial there was a considerable difference in the quality of life score between the 2 groups.
The team concluded that for people with advanced renal cancer who have already had other anti angiogenic drugs there is benefit in having nivolumab.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Prof Martin Gore
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer