The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has recommended Cabometyx (cabozantinib) plus Opdivo (nivolumab) for use by via NHS Scotland for the first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in adults.

In a Phase III study, the risk of death for advanced RCC patients was decreased by 34% with the Cabometyx plus Opdivo combination compared to currently availably therapy sunitinib.

The study also hit its primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS), with median PFS doubling from 8.3 months on sunitinib to 17.0 months when compared to Cabometyx plus Opdivo.

“Today’s news is a clear demonstration of Scotland being at the forefront of cancer care, with local patients the first to benefit from this treatment approach. With incidence of RCC rising in Scotland over the last decade, this recommendation will mark an important milestone for patients with advanced disease,” said Robert Jones, professor of Clinical Cancer Research, University of Glasgow.

The combination of cabozantinib and nivolumab combines agents which both block the growth of blood vessels in cancer tumours and those which harness the body’s immune system to help find and fight cancer,” he added.