The new cancer drug Cabometyx surpassed the drug Sutent, which could make it a first-line treatment of metastatic kidney cancer, according to a study. The new drug belongs to Exelixis, while pharmaceutical giant Pfizer produces the former one.

Currently, Cabometyx can be used only on patients that are receiving another form of therapy, while Sutent can be the first option. Nonetheless, the company is trying to clear it for initial use.

The drug Cabometyx,  from Exelixis,surpassed the drug Sutent, from Pfizer. Photo credit: Penny Stock Observer
The drug Cabometyx, from Exelixis,surpassed the drug Sutent, from Pfizer. Photo credit: Penny Stock Observer

The study concluded that patient that used the new drug showed a reduction of thirty-one percent in death tolls regarding in comparison to those who used Pfizer’s drug. At the same time, people using Cabometyx had a lower disease progression than those who used Sutent. The former spent an average of eight months before their disease worsened, against the users of the latter, whose disease progressed after five months.

“This data shows that cabozantinib (Cabometyx) has the potential to become a first-line standard treatment,” said Toni Choueiri, researcher of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and lead author of the study.

Exelixis is planning to ask for regulatory approval in the United States, with the aim of selling Cabometyx as a treatment of first-line in cases of metastatic kidney cancer. However, Bernard Escudier of France’s Institut Gustave-Roussy advised that more research was needed before the drug could be used in the first-line setting. Nonetheless, he said the results “raised hopes” the drug could be a successful treatment in the future.

Pfizer still is a strong competitor

During a Phase III study, Pfizer demonstrated that Sutent is still an excellent option for kidney cancer treatment. The research concluded that patients who had all of part of a kidney removed had more chance of surviving.

Those who were on a placebo had a disease-free average of five years and a half, while those who were treated with Sutent had an average of almost seven years.

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is the seventh most common cause of cancer for women and the tenth most common cause of cancer in men. In 2015, more than one million people were diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Out of that amount, sixty-thousand are diagnosed with kidney cancer.

And every year, an average of fifteen thousand Americans will die from the disease. Nonetheless, there are approximately two hundred thousand kidney cancer survivors in the country.

New advances in surgical procedures, diagnosis, and especially treatment options will prevent more deaths. Alongside Cabometyx and Sutent, two new immunotherapy drugs, Nivolumab and Ipilimumab, are regarded as a possible “game-changers” in the fight against kidney cancer.

In a recent study, patients with advanced kidney cancer were treated with a combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab, with forty percent of them reporting a “significant” shrinkage of their tumors, while ten percent was completely healed.

Source: Reuters