Background: We conducted a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor of tumor-cell proliferation and angiogenesis, in patients with advanced clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma.
Methods: From November 2003 to March 2005, we randomly assigned 903 patients with renal-cell carcinoma that was resistant to standard therapy to receive either continuous treatment with oral sorafenib (at a dose of 400 mg twice daily) or placebo; 451 patients received sorafenib and 452 received placebo. The primary end point was overall survival. A single planned analysis of progression-free survival in January 2005 showed a statistically significant benefit of sorafenib over placebo. Consequently, crossover was permitted from placebo to sorafenib, beginning in May 2005.
Results: At the January 2005 cutoff, the median progression-free survival was 5.5 months in the sorafenib group and 2.8 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio for disease progression in the sorafenib group, 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.55; P<0.01). The first interim analysis of overall survival in May 2005 showed that sorafenib reduced the risk of death, as compared with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.94; P=0.02), although this benefit was not statistically significant according to the O'Brien-Fleming threshold. Partial responses were reported as the best response in 10% of patients receiving sorafenib and in 2% of those receiving placebo (P<0.001). Diarrhea, rash, fatigue, and hand-foot skin reactions were the most common adverse events associated with sorafenib. Hypertension and cardiac ischemia were rare serious adverse events that were more common in patients receiving sorafenib than in those receiving placebo.
Conclusions: As compared with placebo, treatment with sorafenib prolongs progression-free survival in patients with advanced clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma in whom previous therapy has failed; however, treatment is associated with increased toxic effects. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00073307 [ClinicalTrials.gov].).
Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.