Cabozantinib for the treatment of kidney cancer

Cabozantinib is a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that initially showed activity in medullary thyroid cancer and was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma after progression on first line therapy. Areas Covered: In the METEOR trial, cabozantinib demonstrated significantly improved efficacy in all three endpoints; response rates, progression free survival and overall survival in a randomized trial with everolimus as an active comparator. Cabozantinib also showed activity in the front line setting in RCC within the CABOSUN trial. The study randomized untreated metastatic RCC patients to either cabozantinib or sunitinib and the former showed improved progression free survival which was the primary endpoint. The future holds promise for indications in other malignancies, given the preliminary efficacy and unique mechanism of action of cabozantinib. In this review we address the mechanism of action, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of cabozantinib, and also review the development pathway of this agent in the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. The potential benefit in specific patient populations, such as poor risk patients and bone metastases subgroups is also discussed. Expert Commentary: The clinical applications of cabozantinib will be addressed within the context of the current competitive therapeutic landscape of RCC.

Expert review of anticancer therapy. 2017 Jun 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Ahmed Abdelaziz, Ulka Vaishampayan

a Department of Oncology , Wayne State University/Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute , Detroit , MI , USA.