Sunitinib and pazopanib may be similarly effective for the first-line treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), and do not affect outcomes with second-line systemic therapy, according to a “real-world” study published in the European Journal of Cancer.1

Both sunitinib and pazopanib are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the first-line treatment of mRCC, though it is unclear how the clinical efficacy of these agents translates into “real-world” effectiveness. Researchers compared outcomes with each agent using population-based data.

Investigators analyzed data from 7483 patients with mRCC treated with either frontline sunitinib or pazopanib who were included in the International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC). There were no significant differences in IMDC prognostic groups (P = .36).

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After a median follow-up of 40.4 months (95% CI, 39.2-42.1), there was no significant difference in median overall survival between the 2 groups (22.3 months for sunitinib versus 22.6 months for pazopanib; P = .65).

Median progression-free survival was 8.4 months with sunitinib, compared with 8.3 months with pazopanib (P = .17).

After adjusting for IMDC criteria, researchers found that there was no significant difference in the risk of death for pazopanib versus sunitinib (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.92-1.17; P = .58). There was also no difference in the risk of disease progression (hazard ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.981-1.19; P = .12).

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No differences were found in overall survival (P = .27) or progression-free survival (P = .07) after second-line treatment between the post-sunitinib and post-pazopanib groups.                            


  1. Ruiz-Morales JM, Swierkowski M, Wells JC, et al. First-line sunitinib versus pazopanib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: results from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium. Eur J Cancer. 2016;65:102-108.