Dear Colleagues,

This year’s IKCS2022 Annual meeting offered a dynamic agenda unveiling the latest scientific advances and pivotal data from a broad spectrum of topics in kidney cancers, including a significant amount of emerging data on renal cell carcinoma. From early-phase clinical trials to updates on novel therapeutics, the sessions offered a unique opportunity to gauge progress on a broad spectrum of topics and envision how new information could have translational importance. The oral and poster presentations were worth reviewing to get a sense of where investigative work will point toward directions to be explored at future scientific sessions. Altogether, oncologists and researchers gathered at the IKCS meeting offered an intriguing picture of how the field is evolving in many directions, from prognostic factors, genetic analysis, stratification, genetic ancestry, IO/immunotherapeutic strategies, depth of response, and biomarkers. During this important discussion at the meeting, investigators debated some hot topics including treatment with adjuvant or without adjuvant therapy, doublet vs triplet therapeutic strategies, and surveillance vs interventions in renal cancers.
At this year’s IKCS2022 meeting, two newly established awards were given by the Kidney Cancer Association. Importantly, the inaugural “Kidney Cancer Association Nicholas J. Vogelzang Humanitarian Award” was dedicated and awarded to the KCA’s late co-founder, kidney cancer trailblazer, and colleague, Dr. Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, FACP, FASCO. The KCA will award this award annually at the IKCS: North America meetings each November. This KCA’s new humanitarian award recognizes an individual who has made a great impact in highlighting kidney cancer advocacy as well as strides to raise awareness and resources to advance kidney cancer treatment and patient care. Another award known as the Christopher G. Wood Rising Star Award, established in memory of Dr. Christopher G. Wood, to commemorate his commitment to the kidney cancer community, was given to the early-career scientist or physician within seven years of an initial faculty appointment who embodies Chris’ spirit for community and collaboration.
The utility of adjuvant immunotherapy has been associated with improved overall survival in patients with RCC. Recently, pembrolizumab was approved by the FDA for adjuvant setting in RCC with an intermediate-high or high-risk of recurrence following nephrectomy or following nephrectomy and resection of metastatic lesions based on results of the KEYNOTE-564 study (NCT03142334). Despite the approval of pembrolizumab in the adjuvant setting, additional questions remain regarding how to treat patients who relapse on or soon after adjuvant therapy. Importantly, there is an unmet need for the optimal treatment strategy for patients with progression of disease on adjuvant therapy or recurrence after completing adjuvant therapy. Also, precise patient selection will be the key to influencing the benefit of adjuvant treatment. The ensuing article in this issue by Berger et al provides an algorithm for the treatment of recurrences in patients with mRCC during or after adjuvant IO, based on the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) of IO and the efficacy and adverse events. For example, authors recommend single-agent VEGFR TKI therapy for patients who progress while on adjuvant ICI, and for patients with recurrence after completing adjuvant pembrolizumab, authors recommend resumption of ICI with either combination ICI and VEGFR TKI, or dual ICI based on IMDC risk, time from completion of therapy, and patient-specific factors. For patients who did not tolerate adjuvant ICI, the severity of the irAE and time from discontinuation of therapy influence the decision on (ICI with VEGFR TKI versus single agent VEGFR TKI). In this issue, Dr. Matrana provided in-depth coverage for oral and poster abstracts presented at the IKCS2022. For the recommended abstracts section in this issue, I have provided key abstracts picked from the IKCS2022 sessions.