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.”