InformationClinical trials have complex eligibility criteria.
Always talk to your clinician about you’re interest in participating in a trial.
Learn why

Optimise reading forHealth ProfessionalsPatients

Closed (no longer recruiting)Last updated: 15 May 2024

KEYPAD: This Phase II trial is evaluating the combination of an immunotherapy (Pembrolizumab) and a targeted therapy (Denosumab) for the treatment of advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC)Denosumab and Pembrolizumab in Clear Cell Renal Carcinoma: a Phase II Trial

Clinical summary


This study aims to determine the activity and safety of pembrolizumab and denosumab in advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Adults with unresectable or metastatic ccRCC progressing after treatment with a VEGFR TKI. Key eligibility criteria include target lesion(s) according to RECIST 1.1, good performance status (ECOG PS 0-2), no history of significant autoimmune disease, tumour sample available (archival or recent biopsy), and no previous treatment with immunotherapy. All participants will receive the study interventions of pembrolizumab and denosumab. All participants will receive the study interventions of pembrolizumab and denosumab. Pembrolizumab will be given every 3 weeks at a dose of 200mg and denosumab will be given on day 1, day 8, day 22 and then every 21 days (3 weekly) thereafter as a single subcutaneous injection. Treatment with pembrolizumab and denosumab will continue until evidence of clinical progression or prohibitive toxicity, or withdrawal of consent, up to a maximum duration of 2 years. 7- eligible participants will be recruited from 15 sites in Australia and New Zealand over a 2 year period.


This trial is treating patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma


Urinary System Cancers Genitourinary





Trial Acronym


More information

Trial Identifiers

Use the hyperlinks, where available to access additional clinical trial information.

Trial sponsor

Merck,Australian & New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group Limited (ANZUP)

Scientific Title

Denosumab and Pembrolizumab in Clear Cell Renal Carcinoma: a Phase II Trial



  • Adults, aged 18 years and older, with histologically confirmed unresectable or metastatic renal cell carcinoma with a clear cell component
  • Disease progression during or after VEGFR TKI treatment
  • At least 1 target lesion according to RECIST v1.1
  • ECOG performance status of 0-2
  • Adequate bone marrow function (done within 14 days prior to registration
  • Haemoglobin ≥ 90g/L
  • Platelet ≥ 75x109/L
  • Neutrophil count ≥ 1.5x109/L
  • Adequate liver function (done within 14 days prior to registration and with values within the ranges specified below):
  • Bilirubin ≤ 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) except for patients with known Gilbert's syndrome
  • AST or ALT ≤ 3.0 x ULN (or ≤ 5.0x ULN in the presence of liver metastases)
  • Adequate renal function (done within 14 days prior to registration and with values within the ranges specified below):
  • Creatinine ≤ 1.5x ULN OR
  • Creatinine clearance (CrCl) ≥ 30mL/min
  • Serum calcium or albumin-adjusted serum calcium ≥2.0 mmol/L
  • Tumour tissue available for tertiary correlative studies
  • Willing and able to start treatment within 14 days of registration, and to comply with all study requirements, including the timing and/or nature of the required treatment and assessments
  • Signed, written informed consent


  • Prior treatment with pembrolizumab, or with any other anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, Anti-PD-L2, anti-CTLA-4 antibody, or any other antibody or drug specifically targeting T cell co-stimulation or immune checkpoint pathways
  • Active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years (i.e. with use of disease modifying agents, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs). Replacement therapy (e.g., thyroxine, insulin, or physiologic corticosteroid replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a form of systemic treatment.
  • Any condition requiring systemic treatment with either corticosteroids (>10mg daily prednisone or equivalent dose of alternative corticosteroid) or other immunosuppressive medications within 14 days of pembrolizumab administration. Intranasal, inhaled or topical steroids are permitted in the absence of active autoimmune disease.
  • Prior treatment with denosumab.
  • Untreated brain or leptomeningeal metastases or current clinical or radiological progression of known brain metastases, or requirement for steroid therapy for brain metastases. Patients with treated brain metastases are eligible if they have been stable and off steroids for ≥ 3 weeks.
  • Prior allogeneic organ transplant, inflammatory bowel disease, pneumonitis, tuberculosis, or primary immunodeficiency
  • Active infection requiring systemic therapy within 14 days before the first dose of pembrolizumab
  • Receipt of live attenuated vaccination within 30 days of the planned first dose of pembrolizumab
  • Active dental or jaw condition that precludes administration of denosumab:

    i) Significant dental/oral disease, including prior history or current evidence of osteonecrosis/osteomyelitis of the jaw, or; ii) Active dental or jaw condition which requires oral surgery, or; iii) Non-healed dental/oral surgery, or; iv) Planned invasive dental procedures during the course of the study

  • Clinically significant hypersensitivity to denosumab or any components of denosumab
  • Targeted small molecule therapy, surgery or radiation therapy within 2 weeks before registration, or persisting adverse event(s) of Grade 2 or more due to a previously administered agent. Note that participants who have had recent major surgery must have recovered adequately before registration.
  • Life expectancy of less than 3 months.
  • History of an active malignancy within the previous 5 years, except for locally curable cancers that have been apparently cured, such as low-grade thyroid carcinoma, prostate cancer not requiring treatment (Gleason grade ≤ 6), basal or squamous cell skin cancer, superficial bladder cancer, melanoma in situ, or carcinoma in situ of the prostate, cervix, or breast. Patients who have been free of other malignancies for ≥ 5 years prior to registration are eligible for this study.
  • Significant infection, including chronic active hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV. - Serious medical or psychiatric conditions that might limit the ability of the patient to comply with the protocol
  • Pregnancy, lactation, or inadequate contraception. Women must be post-menopausal, infertile, or use a reliable means of contraception. Women of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test done within 7 days prior to registration. Men must have been surgically sterilised or use a (double if required) barrier method of contraception. Subject is excluded if pregnant or breast feeding, or planning to become pregnant within 5 months after the end of treatment. Female subject of child bearing potential is excluded if they are not willing to use, in combination with her partner, highly effective contraception during treatment and for 5 months after the end of treatment.


  • Your cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • You have had treatment but your cancer has gotten worse or has not responded to the treatment you have been given.


  • You have been diagnosed with a prior or secondary type of cancer.
  • You have certain types of non-cancer medical conditions.
  • You have had certain treatments, surgical procedures or drugs.

Clinical trials have complex eligibility criteria.

Ask your doctor if this trial could be right for you.

Participating hospitals

+ Show non-recruiting hospitals

Closed hospitals

Completed hospitals

InformationTell us if you find this trial availability is not accurate.Report inaccuracy

Get Support


Cancer Connect

You might find it helpful to speak to someone who has 'been there before'. Our Cancer Connect program can provide one-on-one phone support from someone who understands what you're going through and has clinical trials experience.

Learn more


Cancer Council’s cancer nurses

If you need cancer information and practical support for yourself, a carer, family or friend, contact Cancer Council’s experienced cancer nurses on 131120.

Learn more


Information for family, friends and carers

When you are considering a cancer clinical trial, it is a good idea to discuss it with your family, friends or carers.

Learn more

Victorian Cancer Registry Victorian Government

The Victorian Cancer Trials Link is supported by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency.


Cancer Council Victoria would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.