Savolitinib shows promise as personalized treatment for some metastatic PRCC patients

By Paul Basilio, MDLinx
Published July 21, 2017

Key Takeaways

New research led by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute showed that some patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC) benefited from an experimental drug that targets an abnormal genetic pathway that causes cancerous growth. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

PRCC typically carries a poor prognosis. Savolitinib is a potent, selective MET inhibitor, and it demonstrated clinical activity in patients with PRCC whose tumors were driven by overactivity of the MET signaling pathway. However, it was not effective for patients whose tumors lacked the MET abnormality, said the investigators. The team was led by Toni Choueiri, MD, Director, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, and Director, Kidney Cancer Center, both associated with Dana-Farber.

The results of this single-arm, multicenter phase II clinical trial suggest that savolitinib has the potential to be a personalized treatment for a subgroup of patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma.

In the 109 patients in the study with locally advanced or metastatic PRCC, 40% had tumors driven by MET, 42% had tumors that did not rely on MET, and 17% had unknown MET status.

Results showed 18% of patients with MET-driven cancers had significant shrinkage of their tumors, and 50% had stable disease. In contrast, none of the patients with MET-independent tumors had shrinkage response, and only 24% had stable disease.

In addition, the length of time after treatment before the cancer began growing was significantly longer in the MET-driven tumor group – 6.2 months vs 1.4 months.

“These data support the hypothesis that savolitinib has antitumor activity in patients with MET-driven papillary renal cell carcinoma,” the authors wrote. “Our study identified a defined molecular group and highlights the prevalence of MET-driven disease in this rare population of RCC patients.”

Although some patients had their dosage of savolitinib reduced and two patients discontinued treatment because of side effects, the researchers said the drug was generally well-tolerated.

To read more about this study, click here

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