The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2020 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Savolitinib may offer advantages over sunitinib for treating MET-driven papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC), according to study findings presented during the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program.

In a phase 3 trial comparing the drugs, a team led by Toni K. Choueiri, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, observed that patients treated with savolitinib, a highly selective MET-directed tyrosine kinase inhibitor, experienced numerical improvements in median progression-free survival compared with sunitinib recipients (7 months vs 5.6 months, respectively). Compared with sunitinib, savolitinib was associated with a nonsignificant 29% decreased risk of progression (95% CI, 0.37-1.36; P =.313).

Median overall survival was 13.2 months in the sunitinib arm and not reached in the savolitinib arm. Compared with sunitinib, savolitinib was associated with a nonsignificant 49% decreased risk of death (95% CI, 0.21-1.17; P =.110). The savolitinib recipients also had a numerically higher objective response rate (27% vs 7%).

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At a data cutoff of August 2019, only 60 of the 180 planned patients were randomly selected to receive treatment (33 savolitinib, 27 sunitinib). Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) grade 3 or higher adverse events (AEs) were reported in 42% and 81% of savolitinib and sunitinib recipients, respectively. Dose modifications were related to AEs in 30% and 74% of patients treated with savolitinib and sunitinib, respectively, Dr Choueiri and his colleagues reported.

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Following treatment discontinuation, 36% and 19% of all patients being administered savolitinib and sunitinib, respectively, received subsequent anticancer therapy.

“Although patient numbers and follow-up were limited, savolitinib demonstrated encouraging efficacy and improved safety over sunitinib,” Dr Choueiri concluded in a video presentation. Patients receiving savolitinib experienced fewer grade 3 or higher AEs and required fewer dose modifications than those treated with sunitinib, he said.

Dr Choueiri pointed out that early termination of recruitment in SAVOIR precludes drawing definitive conclusions due to the small dataset. “However, based on [these] emerging data, further investigation of savolitinib as a treatment option for MET-driven PRCC is warranted,” he said.

Disclosure: This study was funded by AstraZeneca. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original abstract.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the ASCO 2021 meeting by visiting the conference page.


Choueiri TK, Heng DYC, Lee JL, et al. SAVOIR: A phase III study of savolitinib versus sunitinib in pts with MET-driven papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC). Presented at: ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program. J Clin Oncol. 2020;38(suppl):abstr 5002.