The U.S. FDA approved Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) to treat patients with advanced (metastatic) renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer, who have received a certain type of prior therapy. Opdivo is one of few therapies that have demonstrated the ability to extend patients’ survival in treating renal cell carcinoma. Torisel (temsirolimus), approved in 2007, is the only other FDA-approved therapy that has demonstrated overall survival in renal cell cancer.
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults and forms in the tissues of the kidney that make urine. Opdivo works by targeting the cellular pathway known as PD-1/PD-L1 (proteins found on the body’s immune cells and some cancer cells). By blocking this pathway, Opdivo may help the body’s immune system fight cancer cells. Opdivo’s extended indication, from melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer to renal cell cancer, demonstrates how immune therapies can benefit patients across a wide range of tumors.