Blood type may impact immunotherapy outcomes in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), according to a study presented at IKCS: Europe 2023.

The study showed that time to treatment failure (TTF) and progression-free survival (PFS) were longer among patients with type O blood than among patients with other blood types.

The retrospective study included 69 patients with metastatic RCC from a single institution who were treated with immunotherapy between 2015 and 2022. Only patients with information about blood type and toxicity were included in the cohort.

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The median age at baseline was 59 (range, 27-89) years. The most common blood type was A (42.1%), followed by B (40.6%), O (15.9%), and AB (1.4%). The patients received immunotherapy alone (20.3%), dual immunotherapy (34.8%), or immunotherapy in combination with a VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitor (42.0%).

The median TTF was significantly longer among patients with type O blood than among patients with other blood types — 8.09 months and 3.88 months, respectively (P =.017).

Among the 49 patients who discontinued immunotherapy due to progression or death, PFS was longer in patients with type O blood. The median PFS was 5.93 months in the type O group and 3.29 months in the other blood groups (P =.04).

Rates of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) were not significantly different between the type O blood group and the other blood groups (P =.09). 

However, having an irAE was significantly associated with longer TTF (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.28-0.86; P =.0059).

“Although limited by small sample size, the findings suggest that patients with blood group O may have a preferential response to immunotherapy, especially with the presence of irAEs,” the researchers concluded. They noted that validation in larger cohorts is needed.


Wang Y, Jackson-Spence F, Young M, et al. Association of ABO blood type with toxicity and response to immunotherapy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). IKCS: Europe 2023. April 21-22, 2023. Abstract 30.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor