No Benefit from Adjuvant Sorafenib or Sunitinib in Kidney Cancer Patients

Average period to disease recurrence same as with placebo.

Average period to disease recurrence same as with placebo.

Patients with locally advanced kidney cancer did not experience improved outcomes from either adjuvant sorafenib or sunitinib, according to a federally funded study.

The study, which will be presented at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in Orlando, found the disease free survival average in patients receiving sorafenib or sunitinib post-surgery to be 5.6 years, while patients treated with placebo experienced disease recurrence at 5.7 years.

"These drugs didn't reduce disease recurrence, but on average they did not appear to worsen patient outcomes either," lead author Naomi B. Haas, MD, said in a press release. "We are still analyzing the various groups of patients enrolled on this trial, and we hope that analysis of patient specimens collected on this study may provide clues into subsets of patients who might still benefit from these therapies."

The two VEGF inhibitors, which are commonly used to treat metastatic kidney cancer, act by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels to the tumor.

The researchers noted that this was the first study to evaluate the efficacy of VEGF inhibitors as adjuvant therapy in locally advanced kidney cancer patients who face a high risk for recurrence, as the current standard of care is close observation.

The researchers examined 1943 patients with locally advanced renal cell carcinoma post-surgery who were randomly assigned to receive either sorafenib, sunitinib, or placebo for a year. The factors that placed patients at a high risk for recurrence included tumor size and grade, and cancer spread to lymph nodes, the study noted.

Recurrence rates were approximately 40% between the 3 treatment regimens, which matched the similarities found among the treatments in the disease-free survival average.