07:53am Wednesday 29 January 2020

Targeted Oral Drug Pazopanib Slows Progression of Advanced Kidney Cancer

In this News Digest:

  • Summary of study being published online January 25, 2010, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showing that progression-free survival in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who received pazopanib (VOTRIENT) was more than twice as long as in those who received a placebo
  • Quote for attribution from Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology genitourinary cancers expert
  • Links to additional information on Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient website

“Advanced renal cell carcinoma remains a challenging disease, but treatment has improved with the introduction of new targeted therapies over the past year – including pazopanib, which targets multiple pathways within cancer cells,” said Cora Sternberg, MD, chief of the Department of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals in Rome, Italy and the study’s lead author. “The recent FDA approval of pazopanib provides patients with a new oral treatment option that effectively slows the progression of their disease.”

Pazopanib works by inhibiting the development of blood vessels that tumors need to grow and spread. It is a novel, oral, multi-targeted, tyrosine kinase inhibitor that binds to the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor and the c-Kit receptor.

In this phase III study, 233 patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic RCC and 202 other patients with RCC who had previously been treated with cytokine therapy (interferon or interleukin) were randomly assigned to receive pazopanib (290 patients) or placebo (145 patients). Pazopanib is administered in a tablet that is taken orally.

The time it took for a patient’s disease to progress (progression-free survival) was more than two times longer for the pazopanib group (9.2 months) compared with the placebo group (4.2 months). This difference was especially pronounced among the previously untreated patients (11.1 months for the pazopanib group versus 2.8 months for placebo), and persisted among those previously treated with cytokines (7.4 versus 4.2 months, respectively). Follow-up is ongoing to determine how the drug affects overall survival.

The most common side effects of pazopanib treatment were diarrhea (52 percent), hypertension (40 percent), hair color changes (38 percent), nausea (26 percent), weight loss (22 percent) and vomiting (21 percent).

Other clinical studies are under way to compare pazopanib with other targeted therapies for advanced RCC.

Expert Perspective
Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, member of ASCO’s Cancer Communications Committee

“Our expanding knowledge of the molecular biology of tumors is fueling the development of drugs that interfere with the specific pathways that cancers use to grow and spread. While these results are impressive for a challenging disease, it will be important to see in future studies how this drug compares to other targeted drugs for this disease.”

Helpful Links from Cancer.Net:


The Journal of Clinical Oncology is the tri-monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s leading professional society representing physicians who treat people with cancer.


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CONTACT: Kelly Powell

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