Clinical factors associated with outcome in patients with metastatic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma treated with vascular endothelial growth factor-targeted therapy

Toni K Choueiri, Jorge A Garcia, Paul Elson, Mohamad Khasawneh, Saif Usman, Ali Reza Golshayan, Rachid C Baz, Laura Wood, Brian I Rini, Ronald M Bukowski
Cancer 2007 August 1, 110 (3): 543-50

BACKGROUND: Therapy targeted against the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway is a standard of care for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The identification of patients who are more likely to benefit from these agents is warranted.

METHODS: In total, 120 patients with metastatic clear-cell RCC received bevacizumab, sorafenib, sunitinib, or axitinib on 1 of 9 prospective clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic. Clinical features associated with outcome were identified by univariate analysis; then, a stepwise modeling approach based on Cox proportional hazards regression was used to identify independent prognostic factors and to form a model for progression-free survival (PFS). A bootstrap algorithm was used to provide internal validation.

RESULTS: The overall median PFS was 13.8 months, and the objective response according to the Response Criteria in Solid Tumors was 34%. Multivariate analysis identified time from diagnosis to current treatment <2 years; baseline platelet and neutrophil counts >300 K/microL and >4.5 K/microL, respectively; baseline corrected serum calcium <8.5 mg/dL or >10 mg/dL; and initial Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status >0 as independent, adverse prognostic factors (PF) for PFS. Three prognostic subgroups were formed based on the number of adverse prognostic factors present. The median PFS in patients with 0 or 1 adverse prognostic factor was 20.1 months compared with 13 months in patients with 2 adverse prognostic factors and 3.9 months in patients with >2 adverse prognostic factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Five independent prognostic factors for predicting PFS were identified and were used to categorize patients with metastatic RCC who received VEGF-targeted therapies into 3 risk groups. These prognostic factors can be incorporated into patient care and clinical trials that use such novel, VEGF-targeted agents.

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