Cabozantinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: latest findings and clinical potential

Since the advent of immunotherapy revolutionized the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), the attention of oncologists has been unavoidably shifted from tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) to immune checkpoint blockade, with the associated risk of listing cabozantinib as just one of many available TKIs. On the contrary, we think that cabozantinib represents a very good option for mRCC treatment, with outstanding outcomes in terms of response rate, progression-free survival, overall survival and quick time to treatment response. Its safety profile is acceptable and its discontinuation rate, due to toxicity, is similar to those of other TKIs. It is still not clear if the effectiveness of this drug is justified by its wide spectrum of multikinase activity, extended to the MET and AXL kinases, or by the simple maintenance of a 'vascular endothelial growth factor receptor pressure' after another previous TKI. Early-phase studies are currently ongoing to investigate the potential activity and safety of cabozantinib in association with immunotherapy, albeit with the risk of an overly toxic combination. Thus, future opportunities to improve the clinical use of this drug will probably be represented by a smart treatment sequence.

Therapeutic advances in medical oncology. 2017 Aug 02 [Epub]

Melissa Bersanelli, Sebastiano Buti

University Hospital of Parma, Medical Oncology Unit, Via Gramsci 14, 43126, Parma (PR), Italy., University Hospital of Parma, Medical Oncology Unit, Parma (PR), Italy.