Sunitinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients with brain metastases


  • We thank all of the patients and their families and caregivers for their participation in this study and the investigators and their staff from participating sites. We also acknowledge the contribution of and thank Bridget A. Martell M.D., M.A., of Pfizer Inc., New York, USA. Martin Gore is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, UK. Editorial assistance was provided by Andy Gannon of ACUMED (Tytherington, UK) and was funded by Pfizer Inc.



In a broad patient population with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), enrolled in an open-label, expanded access program (EAP), the safety profile of sunitinib was manageable, and efficacy results were encouraging. Here, the authors report results for patients with baseline brain metastases participating in this global EAP.


Previously treated and treatment-naive metastatic RCC patients ≥18 years received sunitinib 50 mg orally, once daily, on Schedule 4/2. Safety was assessed regularly, tumor measurements done per local practice, and survival data collected where possible. Analyses were done in the modified intention-to-treat (ITT) population, consisting of all patients who received ≥1 dose of sunitinib.


As of December 2007, 4564 patients had enrolled in 52 countries. Of these enrollees, 4371 were included in the modified ITT population, of whom 321 (7%) had baseline brain metastases and had received a median of 3 treatment cycles (range 1-25). Reasons for their discontinuation included lack of efficacy (32%) and adverse events (8%). The most common grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events were fatigue and asthenia (both 7%), thrombocytopenia (6%), and neutropenia (5%), the incidence of which were comparable to that for the overall EAP population. Of 213 evaluable patients, 26 (12%) had an objective response. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 5.6 months (95% CI, 5.2-6.1) and 9.2 months (95% CI, 7.8-10.9), respectively.


In patients with brain metastases from RCC, the safety profile of sunitinib was comparable to that in the general metastatic RCC population, and sunitinib showed evidence of antitumor activity. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.