Published on 17 January 2008
Cancer drugs boost outcomes but fall short of cure
Sunitinib and sorafenib offer improved outcomes for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) but are far short of a cure, a review has concluded.
The article, just published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, considers the role of these drugs in treating mRCC, and discusses drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, clinical efficacy, cost-effectiveness, sunitinib versus sorafenib, and their place in therapy.
The review notes that:
- Sunitinib and sorafenib share a similar mechanism of action.
- Sunitinib and sorafenib have similar toxicity, with the exception of increased risk of hypertension associated with sorafenib.
- Sorafenib prevents growth of tumours but does not result in tumour shrinkage, whereas sunitinib does reduce tumour size.
- Trials of sunitinib have found similar rates of partial response, disease stabilisation and progression-free survival to those obtained with interleukin-2.
- Sorafenib has been proven to improve survival in a novel randomised discontinuation trial and a phase III randomised, placebo-controlled trial.
- No studies have directly compared the effectiveness of sunitinib to sorafenib.
The researchers say: “Despite the introduction of sorafenib and sunitinib, palliative care is still an acceptable treatment option for mRCC because of the disease’s extremely poor prognosis.”
Am J Health-System Pharmacy