Feb. 26, 2020:

Results of a Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium study found that the combination of pembrolizumab and bevacizumab is safe and active in patients with metastatic kidney cancer and was published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Feb. 25.

The multi-site phase Ib/II study of pembrolizumab with bevacizumab for metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium BTCRC-GU14-003, was led by Arkadiusz Z. Dudek, MD (pictured), a professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and medical oncologist at HealthPartners Regions Cancer Care Center in St. Paul, Minn.

“Our study demonstrated that pembrolizumab and bevacizumab can control metastatic kidney cancer for more than 20 months in the majority of patients treated,” Dr. Dudek said. “We think that pembrolizumab and bevacizumab could be an attractive alternative to the current standard combination of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitor. This will be especially important for patients who are elderly, have significant comorbidities, or do not tolerate front-line treatment using immune checkpoint inhibitors or tyrosine kinase inhibitors.”

Several Big Ten CRC member sites and investigators contributed to the completion of this study. Authors include:

  • Arkadiusz Z. Dudek, MD, PhD, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
  • Li C. Liu, PhD, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
  • Shilpa Gupta, MD, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Theodore F. Logan, MD, Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Eric A. Singer, MD, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, N.J.
  • Monika Joshi, MD, Penn State Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa.
  • Yousef N. Zakharia, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Joshua M. Lang, MD, Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
  • James K. Schwarz, MD, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, Neb.
  • Anas Al-Janadi, MD, MSU Breslin Cancer Center, Michigan State University, Lansing, Mich.
  • Ajjai S. Alva, MD, Rogel Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Collaboration among Big Ten institutions was pivotal for the success of this study,” Dr. Dudek said. “Because of this collaboration, the study accrued patients in a shorter than anticipated period of time, and also provided high-quality clinical data, as well as blood and tissue for exploratory studies.”

See the Journal of Clinical Oncology article.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.