Cabozantinib Bests Everolimus for Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Cabozantinib improves progression-free survival in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, according to an ongoing clinical trial comparing the drug with everolimus, an immunosuppressant that is the current standard treatment.

Cabozantinib was approved for use in 2011 as an inhibitor of tumor growth and progression in patients with medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Numerous other clinical trials have since been launched to test whether the effectiveness of the drug can be replicated in patients with other disease states.

At the 40th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (September 26-30; Madrid, Spain), investigators reported early results from the METEOR trial, launched in May 2013, which indicated that patients treated with cabozantinib survived almost twice as long without any disease progression than those treated with everolimus.

Investigators presented updated data from the trial at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (January 7-9; San Francisco, CA). To date, 658 patients have been enrolled in the study, but the presentation focused on data from 375 of those patients.

The investigators reported that over 75% of those receiving cabozantinib saw their tumors reduce in size, compared with only 48% of those taking everolimus. In addition, improvement was seen across all patient subgroups defined by risk category, tumor burden, and prior therapy. It was also noted that those with liver metastases or a combination of visceral and bone metastases experienced the greatest benefit from treatment with cabozantinib.

Investigators concluded that the METEOR trial has met its primary endpoint of improved progression free survival. The trial is scheduled to be completed in August of 2016.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to various pharmaceutical companies, including Exelixis, which manufactures cabozantinib and funded the study.