Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor–Based Therapy May Have Comparative Efficacy in Black and White Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

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Immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapy may be an equally effective front-line treatment in both Black and White patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, according to recent findings presented by Kaur et al at the 2024 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (Abstract 369).


Race may often influence treatment recommendations for certain types of cancers. Previous studies examining the immune gene signatures used to predict a patient’s response to immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapy for renal cell carcinoma have found differences between Black and White patients.

Study Methods and Results

In this study, investigators retrospectively reviewed the anonymous records of 2,592 patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who received either immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapy or sunitinib as front-line treatment. The investigators compared whether differences in immune gene signatures translated into disparities in real-world progression-free survival among Black and White patients with the disease.

The investigators noted about 92% of the patients involved in the study were White, and 56% of both Black and White patients received immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapy.

When outcomes were analyzed separately based on race, the investigators discovered that both Black and White patients who received immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapy experienced better real-world progression-free survival than did those who received sunitinib. When the analyses were adjusted to compare treatment outcomes between Black and White patients across the full cohort, they found no statistically significant differences in treatment outcomes.


These findings indicate that treatment recommendations should be the same for Black and White patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and that immune checkpoint inhibitor–based therapy should be offered to both patient populations.

“There is a potential benefit of [immune checkpoint inhibitors] in both Black and White populations, so we should not differentiate the treatment options based on race,” concluded lead study author Jasmeet Kaur, MD, a second-year fellow in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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