Kidney cancer drugs demonstrate similar efficacy

Drugs Show Similar Efficacy in Metastatic Kidney Cancer
Drugs Show Similar Efficacy in Metastatic Kidney Cancer

(HealthDay News) -- While pazopanib and sunitinib are similarly effective in patients with metastatic renal-cell cancer, pazopanib is associated with better safety and quality of life, according to a study published in the Aug. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

As part of a phase 3, open-label study, Robert J. Motzer, M.D., from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,110 patients with clear-cell, metastatic renal-cell carcinoma to pazopanib (800 mg daily) or sunitinib in six-week cycles (50 mg daily for four weeks, no treatment for two weeks) as a first-line treatment.

The researchers found that pazopanib and sunitinib offered similar progression-free survival (hazard ratio for progression, 1.05) and overall survival (hazard ratio for death, 0.91). Pazopanib treatment was associated with significantly better improvement on 11 of 14 health-related quality-of-life domains during the first six months of treatment. Pazopanib treatment was associated with a greater incidence of elevated alanine aminotransferase, while sunitinib treatment was associated with a greater incidence of fatigue, hand-foot syndrome, and thrombocytopenia.

"Pazopanib and sunitinib have similar efficacy, but the safety and quality-of-life profiles favor pazopanib," Motzer and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of pazopanib; several authors are employees of the company.

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