Everolimus monotherapy use for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has diminished due to recent approvals of immune checkpoint and VEGF inhibitors. We hypothesized that gene expression associated with everolimus benefit may provide rationale to select appropriate patients. To address this hypothesis, tumors from a phase I/II trial that compared everolimus alone or with BNC105P, a vascular disrupting agent, were profiled using Nanostring as a discovery cohort. A phase III trial (CheckMate 025) was used for validation. Clinical benefit (CB) was defined as response or stable disease for ≥6 months. A propensity score covariate adjustment was used, and model discrimination performance was assessed using the area under the ROC curve (AUC). In a discovery cohort of 82 patients, 35 (43%) were treated with everolimus alone and 47 (57%) received everolimus + BNC105P. Median PFS (mPFS) was 4.9 (95% CI, 2.8–6.2) months. A four-gene signature (ASXL1, DUSP6, ERCC2, and HSPA6) correlated with CB with everolimus ± BNC105P [AUC, 86.9% (95% CI, 79.2–94.7)]. This was validated in 130 patients from CheckMate 025 treated with everolimus [AUC, 60.2% (95% CI, 49.7–70.7)]. Among 43 patients (52.4%) with low expression of an 18-gene signature, everolimus + BNC105P was associated with significantly longer mPFS compared with everolimus alone (10.4 vs. 6.9 months; HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.24–1.002; P = 0.047). These signatures warrant further validation to select patients who may benefit from everolimus alone or with a vascular disrupting agent.

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