Long-term response to sunitinib therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma

Ana M. Molina, Xiaoyu Jia, Darren R. Feldman, James J. Hsieh, Michelle S. Ginsberg, Susanne Velasco, Sujata Patil, Robert J. Motzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: Sunitinib achieves objective response and prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). A subset of patients achieves long-term responses. The characteristics of patients who achieved long-term response (defined as patients achieving ongoing complete response [CR] or remaining progression free for > 18 months while receiving sunitinib) are reported. Patients and Methods: A database of 186 patients treated with sunitinib alone (n = 89) or in combination (n = 97) in 9 clinical trials was reviewed; all had 1 year or more follow-up from sunitinib start to data cutoff for analysis. Median PFS was 10.8 months (95% CI, 8.3-13.3); median overall survival (OS) was 30.4 months (95% CI, 21.5-36.8 months) for the 186 patients. Thirty-four patients were identified as long-term responders because they either had durable CR or remained progression free while receiving sunitinib for > 18 months. Results: Best response for 34 long-term responders was CR in 3 patients, partial response (PR) in 24 patients, and stable disease in 7 patients. The median duration of sunitinib therapy was 24.9 months (range, 18.1-73.9 months). The median PFS among the long-term responders was 17.4 months (95% CI, 7-29.9 months) at a landmark PFS analysis performed after 18 months from treatment start. Univariate analysis from the 186 patients identified bone metastasis, lung metastasis, and intermediate/poor risk groups as adverse prognostic factors for long-term response. Conclusion: Sunitinib achieves long-term response in a subset of patients with metastatic RCC. Lack of bone metastasis or lung metastasis and good MSKCC risk status may predict long-term response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Genitourinary Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Metastatic
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Sunitinib
  • Systemic therapy
  • Targeted therapy

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