Before 2005, systemic treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was limited to a few minimally effective options. Since then, new agents have emerged targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor and mTOR pathways, which has improved outcomes for patients. Options increased even further beginning in 2015 with 3 new agents, including the addition of nivolumab, the first immune checkpoint inhibitor to demonstrate improved survival in RCC. RCC has long been considered a malignancy with immunogenic potential, and nivolumab offers the potential for durable responses in some patients with a generally tolerable toxicity profile. With so many drugs available to clinicians and patients, properly integrating immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) into the treatment paradigm is challenging. Additionally, emerging research with other ICB agents, as well as ongoing trials of combination strategies, is likely to further impact clinical decision-making. This article attempts to provide some context to inform systemic treatment decisions in the current landscape, with a particular emphasis on the role of immunotherapy, outlines the ongoing immunotherapy research in RCC, and discusses how treatment may evolve.
Matthew Zibelman and Elizabeth R. Plimack
Elizabeth R. Plimack and Gary R. Hudes
Advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a heterogeneous disease with variable histology, biology, and response to treatment. In the past 5 years, 6 new agents have been approved for the treatment of RCC, and many more are in clinical development. With an ever-increasing number of treatment options, selecting among them for a particular patient can be a daunting task for clinicians. This article describes how treatment choice can be guided by the disease setting and histology, as well as patient characteristics, comorbidities, and preference within the context of available data. Results from clinical trials are combined with practical considerations to make recommendations for first-line and subsequent treatment of patients with clear cell and non-clear cell RCC. These recommendations should supplement the current NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for the treatment of advanced RCC.
Pooja Ghatalia and Elizabeth R. Plimack
Five new PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC): pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, durvalumab, nivolumab, and avelumab. Although cisplatin-based chemotherapy remains the recommended frontline option for cisplatin-eligible patients with metastatic UC, immunotherapy is now an available option in the second-line setting as well as the frontline setting for selected cisplatin-ineligible patients who are either unable to tolerate chemotherapy or PD-L1–positive. This review describes the updated clinical efficacy of these checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of advanced UC and suggests how they can be sequenced in the context of available chemotherapeutic options.
Sumanta K. Pal, Matthew I. Milowsky, and Elizabeth R. Plimack
Over the past several decades, few new systemic agents have been incorporated into the treatment paradigm for bladder cancer. Platinum-based therapy remains the cornerstone of treatment in the perioperative and metastatic settings. Despite level one evidence, use of cisplatin-based therapy in the neoadjuvant setting has been dismal. Second-line therapy for metastatic disease has only modest activity with no survival benefit. However, the elucidation and investigation of novel molecular targets, new therapeutics, and associated biomarkers with strong biologic rationale are actively changing the landscape in bladder cancer. Although the field is moving rapidly, no new drug approvals are currently pending and a need remains to continue to educate the medical oncology and urology communities on the optimal use of currently available treatments. This article outlines the evidence, including that from prospective studies and meta-analyses, providing the basis for the current recommendations from NCCN, and details previous and ongoing studies of targeted therapy for bladder cancer.
Caitlin R. Meeker, Yu-Ning Wong, Brian L. Egleston, Michael J. Hall, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Lainie P. Martin, Margaret von Mehren, Bianca R. Lewis, and Daniel M. Geynisman
Background: Although financial distress is commonly recognized in patients with cancer, it may be more prevalent in younger adults. This study sought to evaluate disparities in overall and financial distress in patients with cancer as a function of age. Methods: This was a single-center cross-sectional study of patients with solid malignancies requiring cancer therapy. The patient questionnaire included demographics, financial concerns, and measures of overall and financial distress. Data analyses compared patients in 3 age groups: young (<50 years), middle-aged (50–64 years), and elderly (≥65 years). Results: The cohort included 119 patients (median age, 62 years; 52% female; 84% white; 100% insured; 36% income ≥$75,000). Significant financial concerns included paying rent/mortgage (P=.003) and buying food (P=.032). Impact of Event Scale (IES) results revealed significant distress in 73% young, 64% middle-aged, and 44% elderly patients. The mean Distress Thermometer (DT) score was 6.1 (standard deviation [SD], 2.9) for young patients, 5.4 (SD, 2.6) for middle-aged, and 4.4 (SD, 3.3) for elderly patients. Young patients were more likely than elderly patients to have a higher IES distress score (P=.016) and DT score (P=.048). The mean InCharge score was lowest (indicating greatest financial distress) in the young group and progressed with age: 5.0 (SD, 1.9), 5.7 (SD, 2.7), and 7.4 (SD, 1.9), respectively (P<.001). Multivariable analyses revealed that the relationship between financial distress and overall distress was strongest in the middle-age group; as the DT increased by 1 point, the InCharge scores decreased by 0.52 (P<.001). Conclusions: Overall and financial distress are more common in young and middle-aged patients with cancer. There are several factors, including employment, insurance, access to paid sick leave, children, and education, that affect younger and middle-aged adults and are less of a potential stressor for elderly individuals.
Clair J. Beard, Shilpa Gupta, Robert J. Motzer, Elizabeth K. O'Donnell, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Kim A. Margolin, Charles J. Ryan, Joel Sheinfeld, and Darren R. Feldman
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 40 years in the United States, Canada, and many European countries. Given the excellent prognosis of most men with testicular cancer, updates in care after treatment have become very important. This article provides a review of the available evidence, integrated with expert medical judgment, in the area of testicular cancer follow-up.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Robert J. Motzer, Eric Jonasch, M. Dror Michaelson, Lakshminarayanan Nandagopal, John L. Gore, Saby George, Ajjai Alva, Naomi Haas, Michael R. Harrison, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Jeffrey Sosman, Neeraj Agarwal, Sam Bhayani, Toni K. Choueiri, Brian A. Costello, Ithaar H. Derweesh, Thomas H. Gallagher, Steven L. Hancock, Christos Kyriakopoulos, Chad LaGrange, Elaine T. Lam, Clayton Lau, Bryan Lewis, Brandon Manley, Brittany McCreery, Andrew McDonald, Amir Mortazavi, Phillip M. Pierorazio, Lee Ponsky, Bruce G. Redman, Bradley Somer, Geoffrey Wile, Mary A. Dwyer, CGC, Lydia J. Hammond, and Griselda Zuccarino-Catania
The NCCN Guidelines for Kidney Cancer provide multidisciplinary recommendations for the clinical management of patients with clear cell and non–clear cell renal cell carcinoma, and are intended to assist with clinical decision-making. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the NCCN Kidney Cancer Panel discussions for the 2020 update to the guidelines regarding initial management and first-line systemic therapy options for patients with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Peter E. Clark, Neeraj Agarwal, Matthew C. Biagioli, Mario A. Eisenberger, Richard E. Greenberg, Harry W. Herr, Brant A. Inman, Deborah A. Kuban, Timothy M. Kuzel, Subodh M. Lele, Jeff Michalski, Lance C. Pagliaro, Sumanta K. Pal, Anthony Patterson, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Kamal S. Pohar, Michael P. Porter, Jerome P. Richie, Wade J. Sexton, William U. Shipley, Eric J. Small, Philippe E. Spiess, Donald L. Trump, Geoffrey Wile, Timothy G. Wilson, Mary Dwyer, and Maria Ho
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States. Urothelial carcinoma that originates from the urinary bladder is the most common subtype. These NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) provide recommendations on the diagnosis and management of non–muscle-invasive and muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. This version of the guidelines provides extensive reorganization and updates on the principles of chemotherapy management.