for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Arpita Desai
Headshot of Arpita Desai
Arpita Desai



The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of monotherapy pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in participants with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). There will be two cohorts in this study: Cohort A will consist of participants with clear cell (cc) RCC and Cohort B will consist of participants with non-clear cell (ncc) RCC.

Official Title

A Phase II Single-arm, Open-label Monotherapy Clinical Trial of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in Locally Advanced/Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (mRCC) (KEYNOTE-427)


Renal Cell Carcinoma PD1 PD-1 PDL1 PD-L1 Carcinoma Carcinoma, Renal Cell Pembrolizumab


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Cohort A (clear cell RCC cohort) participant must have histologically confirmed diagnosis of clear cell RCC or RCC with clear cell component (with or without sarcomatoid features).
  • Cohort B (non-clear cell RCC cohort) participant must have histologically confirmed diagnosis of non-clear cell RCC (with or without sarcomatoid features). Participants with tumors that have a component of clear cell histology are not eligible for inclusion in Cohort B.
  • Has locally advanced/metastatic disease, i.e., newly diagnosed Stage IV RCC per American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) or have recurrent disease.
  • Has measurable disease per RECIST 1.1 as assessed by BICR.
  • Has received no prior systemic therapy for advanced RCC. Prior neoadjuvant/adjuvant therapy for RCC is acceptable if completed >12 months prior to allocation.
  • Must provide adequate tissue for biomarker analysis for Cohorts A and B from an archival tissue sample or newly obtained core or excisional biopsy of a tumor lesion not previously irradiated.
  • Participants receiving bone resorptive therapy (including but not limited to bisphosphonate or RANK-L inhibitor) must have therapy initiated at least 2 weeks prior to treatment allocation.
  • Has Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) ≥70%, as assessed within 10 days prior to treatment allocation.
  • Demonstrates adequate organ function.
  • Female participants of childbearing potential must be willing to use an adequate method of contraception for the course of the study through 120 days after the last dose of study drug.
  • Male participants of childbearing potential must agree to use an adequate method of contraception starting with the first dose of study drug through 120 days after the last dose of study drug.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Is currently participating in or has participated in a study of an investigational agent or using an investigational device within 4 weeks prior to allocation, has had major surgery within 4 weeks or radiation therapy within 2 weeks prior to allocation, or who has not recovered (i.e., ≤ Grade 1 or to Baseline) from AEs due to prior treatment.
  • Had prior treatment with any anti-programmed cell death 1 (anti-PD-1), or anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), or PD-L2 agent or an antibody targeting any other immune-regulatory receptors or mechanisms. Examples of such antibodies include antibodies against indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), PD-L1, interleukin 2 receptors (IL-2R), glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor-related protein (GITR).
  • Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency OR is receiving a systemic steroid therapy exceeding 10 mg daily dose of prednisone or equivalent or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to allocation, except in the case of central nervous system (CNS) metastases (see below).
  • Has an active autoimmune disease requiring systemic treatment within the past 2 years OR a documented history of clinically severe autoimmune disease.
  • Has a known additional malignancy that has had progression or has required active treatment in the last 3 years.Note: Basal cell carcinoma of the skin, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or carcinoma in situ, such as breast cancer in situ, that has undergone potentially curative therapy are acceptable.
  • Has known active CNS metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis.
  • Has a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis that required steroids or current pneumonitis.
  • Has an active infection requiring systemic therapy.
  • Has a known history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.
  • Has known history of Hepatitis B or known active Hepatitis C.
  • Has received a live virus vaccine within 30 days of allocation.
  • Has had a prior solid organ transplant.
  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the study, starting with the screening visit through 120 days after the last dose of study drug.

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Arpita Desai
    Assistant Professor, Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 6 research publications.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
Merck Oncology Clinical Trials Information
Phase 2
Study Type
Last Updated