Sutent® Provides Superior Quality of Life Compared with Interferon in Kidney Cancer

Posted on March 8th, 2009 by

Sutent® Provides Superior Quality of Life Compared with Interferon in Kidney Cancer

The targeted agent Sutent® (sunitinib) provides superior quality of life compared with interferon alfa for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer). These results were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The kidneys are each filled with tiny tubules that clean and filter the blood; this process removes waste and makes urine. Renal cell cancer (RCC) is a malignancy involving these tubules of the kidney. Metastatic RCC refers to cancer that has spread from the kidney to distant sites in the body. Metastatic RCC was historically treated with interferon alfa, an agent that stimulates the immune system to help fight the cancer.

Sutent is an oral targeted agent that works by inhibiting multiple biologic pathways involved in the growth, replication, and spread of cancer cells. Sutent deprives cancer cells of blood and nutrients needed for growth.

To compare Sutent with interferon in the initial treatment of metastatic RCC, researchers conducted a Phase III clinical trial among 750 patients. Patients were assigned to receive either Sutent or interferon. Previously published results from this trial revealed that patients treated with Sutent achieved significantly improved progression-free survival; researchers have now reported the comparison of quality of life between the two groups of patients. Three questionnaires were used to compare quality of life (QOL) among patients:

  • The Functional Assessment of CancerTherapy–Kidney Symptom Index–15 item (FKSI-15)
  • The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General (FACT-G)
  • The EuroQol Group’s EQ-5D self-report questionnaire.

The FKSI-15 questionnaire relates to issues includinglack of energy, fatigue, pain, bone pain, weight loss, shortnessof breath, cough, fever, and blood in the urine (hematuria); the FACT-G questionnaire includes physical well-being [PWB],social/family well-being, emotional well-being, and functionalwell-being; the EQ-5D questionnaire relates to five health dimensions (mobility, self-care, usual activities,pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression).

QOL scores were all significantly improved across all three questionnaires among patients treated with Sutent compared with those treated with interferon-alfa.

The researchers concluded: “Sunitinib provides superior QOL compared with [interferon alfa] in [metastatic] RCC patients.”

Reference: Cella D, Li J, Cappelleri J, et al. Quality of life in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with sunitinib or interferon alfa: results from a Phase III randomized trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008:26; 3763-3769.

Related News: Sutent® Improves Progression-free Survival over Interferon in Kidney Cancer (1/11/2007)

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