Maintenance Sunitinib Safe, Effective for Extensive-Stage Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Share this content:
Maintenance sunitinib after chemotherapy is safe and improves progression-free survival in extensive-stage SCLC.
Maintenance sunitinib after chemotherapy is safe and improves progression-free survival in extensive-stage SCLC.

According to a new study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers have found that maintenance sunitinib after chemotherapy was safe and improved progression-free survival in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

For the placebo-controlled, phase II study, researchers sought to evaluate the efficacy of maintenance sunitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used to treat various cancers, after chemotherapy for SCLC.

Researchers enrolled 144 patients and 138 of whom received cisplatin 80mg/m2 or carboplatin AUC 5 on day 1 plus etoposide 100mg/m2/day on days 1 to 3 every 21 days for four to six cycles.

Then, 95 patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo or sunitinib 37.5mg daily until disease progression.

Results showed that for the 85 patients that received maintenance therapy, the median progression-free survival on maintenance was 2.1 months for placebo and 3.7 months for sunitinib (HR = 1.62; 70% CI: 1.27 - 2.08; 95% CI: 1.02 - 2.60; one-sided P = 0.02).

RELATED: Addition of Bevacizumab to Chemo for Small-Cell Lung Cancer Fails to Improve Outcomes

The median overall survival from random assignment was 6.9 months and 9.0 months for placebo and sunitinib, respectively (HR = 1.28; 95% CI: 0.79 - 2.10; one-sided P = 0.16). In addition, three sunitinib patients achieved a complete response compared with zero placebo patients.

In regard to safety, the most common grade 3 adverse events with sunitinib were fatigue, neutropenia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia.


  1. Ready NE, Pang HH, Gu L, et al. Chemotherapy with or without maintenance for untreated extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II study - CALGB 30504 (Alliance). J Clin Oncol. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.57.3105.

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs