The main event
Marc’s SCCA team moved quickly to begin his treatment. He received radiation for the first month under the care of radiation oncologist Christine Fang, MD. He also checked in with SCCA’s Sarcoma Unit to see if they could help address the severe damage the cancer had done to the bone in his upper arm.
Now Marc moved on to the main event. Medical oncologist Scott Tykodi, MD, advised him to enter a clinical trial called Checkmate 214. The trial compared the efficacy of two of the newest immunotherapy drugs, nivolumab and ipilimumab, against sunitinib. This is significant because, over the last 10 years, sunitinib has been the most widely used FDA-approved treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The study enrolled about 1,000 patients in 184 cancer centers across 28 countries.
Marc was randomly selected for the investigational arm of the Phase 1 clinical trial. First, Marc received four doses intravenously of nivolumab and ipilimumab combined, at three-week intervals. Then he received nivolumab alone every two weeks — 75 doses in total.