Background: Currently, metastatic renal cell carcinoma is treated with sequential single agents targeting VEGF or mTOR. Here, we aimed to assess lenvatinib, everolimus, or their combination as second-line treatment in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Methods: We did a randomised, phase 2, open-label, multicentre trial at 37 centres in five countries and enrolled patients with advanced or metastatic, clear-cell, renal cell carcinoma. We included patients who had received treatment with a VEGF-targeted therapy and progressed on or within 9 months of stopping that agent. Patients were randomised via an interactive voice response system in a 1:1:1 ratio to either lenvatinib (24 mg/day), everolimus (10 mg/day), or lenvatinib plus everolimus (18 mg/day and 5 mg/day, respectively) administered orally in continuous 28-day cycles until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects. The randomisation procedure dynamically minimised imbalances between treatment groups for the stratification factors haemoglobin and corrected serum calcium. The primary objective was progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. This study is closed to enrolment but patients' treatment and follow-up is ongoing. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01136733.
Findings: Between March 16, 2012, and June 19, 2013, 153 patients were randomly allocated to receive either the combination of lenvatinib plus everolimus (n=51), single-agent lenvatinib (n=52), or single-agent everolimus (n=50). Lenvatinib plus everolimus significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with everolimus alone (median 14·6 months [95% CI 5·9-20·1] vs 5·5 months [3·5-7·1]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·40, 95% CI 0·24-0·68; p=0·0005), but not compared with lenvatinib alone (7·4 months [95% CI 5·6-10·2]; HR 0·66, 95% CI 0·30-1·10; p=0·12). Single-agent lenvatinib significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with everolimus alone (HR 0·61, 95% CI 0·38-0·98; p=0·048). Grade 3 and 4 events occurred in fewer patients allocated single-agent everolimus (25 [50%]) compared with those assigned lenvatinib alone (41 [79%]) or lenvatinib plus everolimus (36 [71%]). The most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent adverse event in patients allocated lenvatinib plus everolimus was diarrhoea (ten [20%]), in those assigned single-agent lenvatinib it was proteinuria (ten [19%]), and in those assigned single-agent everolimus it was anaemia (six [12%]). Two deaths were deemed related to study drug, one cerebral haemorrhage in the lenvatinib plus everolimus group and one myocardial infarction with single-agent lenvatinib.
Interpretation: Lenvatinib plus everolimus and lenvatinib alone resulted in a progression-free survival benefit for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who have progressed after one previous VEGF-targeted therapy. Further study of lenvatinib is warranted in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Funding: Eisai Inc.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.