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  1. ITV Report

New cocktail of drugs could be effective in fighting kidney cancer

Kidney cancer kills around 4,400 people each year. Credit: PA

A combination of two immunotherapy drugs may prove an effective new weapon against advanced kidney cancer, trial results show.

Scientists found that 40% of patients treated with nivolumab and ipilimumab experienced a significant reduction in their tumour sizes.

In a tenth of these patients, the cancer appeared to have disappeared altogether - there was no detectable sign of it.

The CheckMate -016 study was an early Phase I trial mainly designed to investigate doses and side effects.

Dr Hans Hammers, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in the US, said: "There remains a significant unmet need for treatment options that offer ongoing responses and increase survival for patients with renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

"The results from CheckMate -016 are encouraging, and warrant further study, as they show with nearly two years of follow-up, 40.4% of patients in each nivolumab plus ipilimumab combination arm responded to the regimen, with the majority of responses occurring early and within the first few months of treatment."

The trial's findings were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology cancer meeting in Copenhagen.