Background: The phase 3 CLEAR study demonstrated statistically significantly improved efficacy with lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab versus sunitinib, including progression-free survival and overall survival, in patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma. This subset analysis investigated efficacy and safety in Japanese patients randomized to lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab or sunitinib in the CLEAR study. Methods: Progression-free survival, overall survival, tumor response, and safety were assessed in Japanese patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma randomized to receive lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab (n = 42) or sunitinib (n = 31). Efficacy outcomes were analyzed by independent imaging review per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Results: Progression-free survival was longer with lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab than with sunitinib (median, 22.1 vs. 10.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.20–0.74). Median overall survival was not estimable in the lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab arm and 30.6 months in the sunitinib arm (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.39–3.66). Overall survival adjusted for the imbalance of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center prognostic risk group favored lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab (hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.18–2.39). Objective response rate (69.0% vs. 45.2%; odds ratio, 2.71; 95% CI, 1.03–7.10) was higher and median duration of response (20.3 vs. 9.1 months) was longer with lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab versus sunitinib. Grade ≥ 3 treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 95.2% versus 87.1% of patients in the lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab versus sunitinib arms. Conclusions: These findings support lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab as a potential first-line treatment for Japanese patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
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