Which medications in the drug class PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma?

Updated: Feb 19, 2021
  • Author: Kush Sachdeva, MD; Chief Editor: E Jason Abel, MD  more...
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PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors

Nivolumab (Opdivo)

Human immunoglobulin G4 monoclonal antibody  that binds to the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with PD-L1 and PD-L2, releasing PD-1 pathway-mediated inhibition of the immune response, including the antitumor immune response. Nivolumab monotherapy is indicated for patients with advanced RCC who have received prior antiangiogenic therapy (eg, VEGF inhibitors). It is also indicated in combination with ipilimumab for patients with intermediate or poor risk, previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma. Nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib is indicated for first-line treatment of advanced RCC.

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

Monoclonal antibody to programmed cell death-1 protein (PD-1); blocks interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. Tumor cells may circumvent T-cell–mediated cytotoxicity by expressing PD-L1 on the tumor itself or on tumor-infiltrating immune cells, resulting in the inhibition of immune-mediated killing of tumor cells. It is indicated as first-line treatment of advanced RCC in combination with axitinib.

Avelumab (Bavencio)

Anti-PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody. Binding of PD-L1 to the PD-1 and B7.1 receptors found on T cells and antigen-presenting cells suppresses cytotoxic T-cell activity, T-cell proliferation, and cytokine production. It is indicated in combination with axitinib for first-line treatment of advanced RCC.

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