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School of Pharmacy


Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), tyrosine kinase (TK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase (mTOR) inhibitors are common first-line (1 L) treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Despite treatment availability, the 5-year survival rate in patients diagnosed at the metastatic stage is only ≈ 10%. To gain contemporary insights into RCC treatment trends that may inform clinical, scientific and payer considerations, treatment patterns and adverse events (AEs) associated with 1 L therapy were examined in a retrospective, longitudinal, population-based, observational study of patients with mRCC. Methods: US administrative claims data (Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Databases) were used to assess trends in 1 L treatment initiation in mRCC (2006–2015) and characterize patterns of individual 1 L treatments, baseline characteristics, comorbidities and treatment-related AEs from 2011 through 2015. Outcomes were evaluated by drug class and route of administration. Results: Ten-year trend analysis (n = 4270) showed that TK/VEGF-directed therapy rapidly became more common than mTOR-directed therapy, and oral treatments were favored over intravenous (IV) treatments. Overall, 1992 eligible patients initiated 1 L treatment for mRCC from 2011 through 2015: 1752 (88%) received TK/VEGF-directed agents and 233 (12%) received mTOR-directed agents; 1674 (84%) received oral treatments, and 318 (16%) received IV treatments. The most common 1 L treatment was sunitinib (n = 849), followed by pazopanib (n = 631), temsirolimus (n = 157) and bevacizumab (n = 154). Patient characteristics and comorbidities, including age, diabetes and congestive heart failure, were independent predictors of 1 L mRCC treatment choice. The three most common potentially 1 L treatment–related AEs were nausea/vomiting (128.2 per 100 patient-years [PY]), hypertension (69 per 100 PY) and renal insufficiency (44.6 per 100 PY). A wide variety of agents were used as second-line (2 L) therapy. Substantial latency of onset was observed for several potentially treatment-related toxicities in patients treated with TK/VEGF- or mTOR-directed agents. Conclusions: In the US, 1 L TK/VEGF inhibitor uptake in recent years appears largely in line with national approvals and guidelines, with varied 2 L agent use. Although retrospective evaluation of claims data cannot assess underlying causality, insights from these real-world RCC treatment and AE patterns will be useful in informing medical and payer decisions.

Source Citation

Pal, S., Gong, J., Mhatre, S. K., Lin, S.-W., Surinach, A., Ogale, S., Vohra, R., Wallen, H., & George, D. (2019). Real-world treatment patterns and adverse events in metastatic renal cell carcinoma from a large US claims database. BMC Cancer, 19(1).


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