Background: Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine tumor with an increasing incidence. Limited treatment options are available for patients with advanced or recurrent metastatic disease, resulting in a poor prognosis. Surufatinib targets multiple kinases (vascular endothelial growth factor receptors, fibroblast growth factor receptor-1, and colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor) involved in tumor angiogenesis and tumor immune evasion. Surufatinib has demonstrated promising antitumor activity in various advanced solid tumors. This study aimed to determine the objective response rate (ORR) of surufatinib in patients with locally advanced or distant metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) or medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Methods: This Phase II open-label study by Simon's two-stage design was conducted at 10 sites across China. Patients with radioiodine (RAI)-refractory DTC with locally advanced disease or distant metastasis (DTC1 group); patients who received limited initial surgery and then developed locally advanced unresectable recurrences and were not considered candidates for RAI therapy due to residual normal thyroid tissue (DTC2 group); or patients with MTC with locally advanced disease or distant metastasis (MTC group) were enrolled. A total of 59 patients were enrolled (26 in DTC1, 6 in DTC2, and 27 in MTC) and received 300 mg surufatinib daily in 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was ORR as determined by the investigators. Results: Overall ORR was 23.2% [95% confidence interval, CI 12.98-36.42]: 21.7% in the DTC1 cohort, 33.3% in the DTC2 cohort, and 22.2% in the MTC cohort. Forty-nine patients achieved disease control (87.5% [CI 75.93-94.82]): 87.0% in the DTC1 cohort, 83.3% in the DTC2 cohort, and 88.9% in the MTC cohort. Median time to response was 59.0 days, and 59.0, 85.5, and 59.0 days in the DTC1, DTC2, and MTC cohorts. Overall median progression-free survival was 11.1 months [CI 5.98-16.69]; 11.1 months in DTC1 and MTC cohorts, while the DTC2 cohort had not reached the median at the data cutoff. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events grade ≥3 were hypertension (20.3%), proteinuria (11.9%), and then elevated blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia, and pulmonary inflammation (5.1% each). Conclusions: Surufatinib demonstrated promising efficacy with a tolerable and manageable safety profile for patients with locally advanced or metastatic MTC, RAI-refractory DTC, or locally advanced unresectable recurrences unable to receive RAI.
Keywords: RAI-refractory; differentiated thyroid cancer; locally advanced; medullary thyroid cancer; metastatic disease; surufatinib; targeted therapy.