FDA approves new standard of care for kidney cancer
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IMAGE: Dr. Hans Hammers, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Co-Leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern helped lead the CheckMate-214 study. view more 

Credit: UT Southwestern

DALLAS – April. 17, 2018 – The standard of care for kidney cancer patients continues to improve. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval to the combination of two immunotherapy drugs, ipilimumab and nivolumab, for the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer.

The results of the large, international clinical trial leading to the approval were just published the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine and showed a significantly higher response rate and improved survival than the standard therapy in patients with intermediate and highly aggressive kidney cancers.

The study, which is sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb and co-led by Drs. Hans Hammers, Bernard Escudier, Pamela Sharma and Robert Motzer, reported that the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab led to a 37 percent improvement in survival compared with sunitinib. The immunotherapy combination led to durable responses in 42 percent of patients, and 9 percent of these patients experienced complete disappearance of their tumors.

“The approval of this combination immunotherapy is the most significant advance for the treatment of kidney cancer over the

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