Sunitinib represents an acceptable option in first line treatment for metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma (mPRCC), a recent study published early online in the journal Annals of Oncology has shown.

Because there is currently no standard first line treatment for mPRCC, researchers designed a prospective phase II study to evaluate sunitinib in first line treatment of patients with mPRCC.

Researchers enrolled 15 patients with type 1 and 46 patients with type 2 mPRCC. Of those, 12 were in the favorable risk group, 33 were in the intermediate risk group, 9 were in the poor risk group, and 7 were undetermined.

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Results showed that at a median follow-up time of 51.4 months, 13% (95% CI: 0.1 – 30.5) of those with type mPRCC achieved a partial response, 67% had stable disease with 33% of patients having stable disease at least 12 weeks.

For those with type 2, 11% (95% CI: 1.9 – 20.3) achieved a partial response, 54% had stable disease with 22% of patients having stable disease at least 12 weeks.

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Median progression-free survival was 6.6 months (95% CI: 2.8 – 14.8) and 5.5 months (95% CI: 3.8 – 7.1) for type 1 and type 2, respectively. Median overall survival was 17.8 months (95% CI: 5.7 – 26.1) for type 1 and 12.4 months (95% CI: 8.2 – 14.3).

The findings suggest that sunitinib shows activity in both types of mPRCC, but lower activity than in clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).


  1. Ravaud A, Oudard S, De Fromont M, et al. First-line treatment with sunitinib for type 1 and type 2 locally advanced or metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma: a phase II study (SUPAP) by the French Genitourinary Group (GETUG). Ann Oncol. 2015. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv149.