, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 205–215 | Cite as

Antiangiogenic therapy combined with immune checkpoint blockade in renal cancer

  • Teele Kuusk
  • Laurence Albiges
  • Bernard Escudier
  • Nikolaos Grivas
  • John Haanen
  • Thomas Powles
  • Axel BexEmail author
Review Paper


Antiangiogenic therapy with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors is the current first-line treatment in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitor has been recently added to the armamentarium of mRCC treatment. These therapies are based on treatment with antibodies that block programmed cell death-1 (PD-1), programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathways, demonstrating impressive response rates and improved survival in several tumour types. So far, nivolumab is the only approved anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody after VEGF therapy in mRCC. According to preclinical and clinical studies, combination therapies with VEGF- and checkpoint inhibitors have synergistic effect achieving improved response rates. However, toxicity in some combinations is high. In this article, we present a review of the ongoing trials with these drug combinations for RCC.


Angiogenesis inhibitors Cell cycle checkpoints Drug combinations Immunotherapy Renal cancer 



We would like to thank the European Urological Scholarship Programme for financially supporting the research fellowship of TK and NG at Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital/the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Financial disclosure

The authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests.

Conflict of interest

AB took part in advisory boards of Pfizer, Novartis, Ipsen, Eisai and Roche. He is the PI of the EORTC SURTIME trial sponsored in part by a Grant from Pfizer to the EORTC. LA has received consulting and advisory fees from BMS, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer, and Cerulean; and research funding from Pfizer and Novartis. BE has received fees for serving on advisory boards from Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Exelixis, and Roche and lecture fees from Pfizer and Novartis. JH has consulted or has an advisory role for MSD Oncology, Pfizer, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, as well as gained research funding by MSD and Bristol-Myers Squibb. TP is a company consultant for Novartis, Pfizer, GSK, has received company speaker honoraria from Novartis, Pfizer, GSK, Genentech, performed trial participation for GSK, Pfizer, BMS, Genentech, Genetech, and received grants/research support from GSK, Pfizer, and Novartis. The other authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teele Kuusk
    • 1
  • Laurence Albiges
    • 2
  • Bernard Escudier
    • 2
  • Nikolaos Grivas
    • 1
  • John Haanen
    • 3
  • Thomas Powles
    • 4
  • Axel Bex
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of UrologyThe Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyGustave RoussyVillejuifFrance
  3. 3.Department of Medical OncologyThe Netherlands Cancer InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Medical Oncology, The Royal Free NHS Trust and Barts Cancer InstituteQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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