Primary anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-refractory metastatic renal cell carcinoma: clinical characteristics, risk factors, and subsequent therapy

D Y Heng, M J Mackenzie, U N Vaishampayan, G A Bjarnason, J J Knox, M H Tan, L Wood, Y Wang, C Kollmannsberger, S North, F Donskov, B I Rini, T K Choueiri
Annals of Oncology: Official Journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology 2012, 23 (6): 1549-55

BACKGROUND: A subset of patients treated with initial anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy exhibit progressive disease (PD) as the best response per RECIST criteria.

METHODS: Data from patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated with anti-VEGF therapy were collected through the International mRCC Database Consortium from 12 centers.

RESULTS: One thousand and fifty-six assessable patients received initial VEGF inhibitors and 272 (26%) of these patients had PD as best response. Initial treatment included sunitinib (n = 203), sorafenib (n = 51), or bevacizumab (n = 18). Six percent of patients were at favorable risk, 55% at intermediate risk, and 39% at poor risk. On multivariable analysis, predictors of PD were Karnofsky performance status < 80% [odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, P < 0.0001], diagnosis to treatment < 1 year (OR = 2.1, P < 0.0001), neutrophilia (OR = 1.9, P = 0.0021), thrombocytosis (OR = 1.7, P = 0.0068), and anemia (OR = 1.6, P = 0.0058). Median progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with PD versus without PD was 2.4 versus 11 months (P < 0.0001) and overall survival (OS) was 6.8 versus 29 months (P < 0.0001), respectively. One hundred and eight (40%) VEGF-refractory patients proceeded to receive further systemic therapies. Response rate, PFS, and OS for subsequent therapy were 9%, 2.5 months, and 7.4 months, respectively, with no statistical differences between patients who received VEGF versus mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary anti-VEGF-refractory mRCC patients have a dismal prognosis. Second-line anti-mTOR and anti-VEGF agents produce similar outcomes.

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