Cancer treatment reviews vol:37 issue:3 pages:178-184
Sunitinib is an orally administered multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved multinationally for the first- and second-line treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). The recommended dose of sunitinib is 50mg per day for 4weeks followed by 2weeks off-treatment (Schedule 4/2). In a phase III trial in 750 patients with mRCC who had not received prior treatment, sunitinib demonstrated superior efficacy to interferon-alpha for the first-line treatment of mRCC. Sunitinib doubled progression-free survival compared with interferon-alpha; furthermore, median OS with sunitinib was greater than 2years. As a result, sunitinib is now considered a reference standard of care for first-line mRCC treatment in patients at favourable or intermediate prognostic risk and is recommended in treatment guidelines. Additionally, results from an expanded-access programme, in a broad, heterogeneous patient population, confirmed the efficacy of sunitinib. Sunitinib has a distinct and predictable profile of adverse events, most of which are manageable with standard medical interventions. Therapy management strategies, including optimisation of dose and treatment duration and adverse event management can help patients achieve optimal efficacy with sunitinib in clinical practice. To further improve outcomes in patients with mRCC, current trials are evaluating sequencing or combination of targeted agents. The use of sunitinib as adjuvant therapy after nephrectomy and as neoadjuvant therapy is also being assessed. This paper provides an in-depth critical review of sunitinib, with particular focus on the data supporting the use of sunitinib for mRCC.