Purpose: In an international, randomized phase III trial, sunitinib demonstrated statistically significant efficacy over interferon alfa (IFN-α) as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) (progression-free survival time, 11 v 5 months, respectively; P < .001; objective response rate, 31% v 6%, respectively; P < .001). We report health-related quality-of-life (QOL) results from this trial. Patients and Methods: Seven hundred fifty mRCC patients were randomly assigned to sunitinib (6-week cycles: 50 mg orally once daily for 4 weeks, followed by 2 weeks off) or IFN-α (9 million units subcutaneous injections, three times weekly). QOL measures included the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G), the FACT-Kidney Symptom Index-15 item (FKSI-15), and the EuroQoL-5D's utility score (EQ-5D Index) and its visual analog scale (EQ-VAS). The primary QOL end point was the FKSI Disease-Related Symptoms (FKSI-DRS) subscale. Higher scores indicated better outcomes (better QOL or fewer symptoms). Data were analyzed for the intent-to-treat population using mixed-effects models, supplemented with pattern-mixture models. Results: Patients receiving sunitinib reported higher FKSI-15 and FKSI-DRS scores at each cycle than those receiving IFN-α, with a significant difference in the overall least squares means (3.27 and 1.98, respectively; P < .0001). Similarly, differences in least squares means for FACT-G (and all subscales), EQ-5D Index, and EQ-VAS were all significantly favorable for sunitinib (P < .01). Per pre-established thresholds, between-treatment differences in the mean scores were clinically meaningful after cycle 4 for FKSI-DRS and at all assessments for FKSI-15, FACT-G, and the FACT-G functional well-being subscale. Conclusion: Sunitinib provides superior QOL compared with IFN-α in mRCC patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research