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Votrient and Sutent: Similar Survival, Different Toxicity for Kidney Cancer

According to an article recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the two agents pazopanib (Votrient) and sunitinib (Sutent) resulted in similar survival among patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (kidney cancer); however, pazopanib appears to be better tolerated than sunitinib in these patients.

Metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) refers to kidney cancer that has spread outside the kidney to different sites in the body. Typically, a cure for metastatic RCC is not available, so researchers and physicians continue to explore therapeutic options to improve long-term survival among this group of patients.

Researchers recently conducted a phase III clinical trial to directly compare pazopanib to sunitinib in the treatment of metastatic RCC. The trial was referred to as COMPARZ and included 1,110 patients who were treated with either pazopanib or sunitunib and results were compared.

Overall survival and progression-free survival were similar between the two groups of patients.
Quality of life parameters and side effects studied favored pazopanib over sunitinib, meaning that pazopanib resulted in an improved quality of life over sunitinib.
The researchers concluded that “Pazopanib and sunitinib have similar efficacy, but the safety and quality-of-life profiles favor pazopanib.”

Reference: Motzer R, Hutson T, Cella D, et al. Pazopanib versus sunitinib in metastatic renal-cell carcinoma. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013; 369:722-731.