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Side Effects of Sunitinib in Kidney Cancer Are 2 to 3 Times More Expensive to Manage Than Those of Avastin Plus Interferon
Date:5/30/2008

- Tolerability is an Increasingly Important Factor When Selecting Treatment

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- ABSTRACT No: 5110 (Poster 6H)

BASEL, Switzerland, May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Data presented at the largest oncology meeting in the world, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), shows that the costs of managing side effects in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) treated with sunitinib (Sutent(R)) are two to three times greater than if they were treated with the combination of Avastin and interferon (IFN), a combination which provides comparable patient efficacy to sunitinib.

Avastin + IFN has already been shown to significantly prolong the time patients with mRCC live without their disease getting worse (progression-free survival; PFS). The Avastin-based therapy patient benefit is comparable in terms of PFS to sunitinib, but the treatment regimens have very different side effect profiles. The study conducted in Germany, France and the UK suggests that the increased cost of managing the side effects seen with sunitinib is mainly due to the higher incidence of low blood cell counts, diarrhea and nausea/vomiting seen with sunitinib.

"Side effects are a very important consideration for both doctors and patients when making treatment decisions particularly with new treatments providing longer periods of time without advancement of disease," said Professor Gerald Mickisch, from the Center of Operative Urology, Academic Hospital Bremen in Germany, and author of the study. "Given the cost of managing side effects, tolerability is also an important consideration for healthcare payers."

Earlier results from the Avastin in Renal (AVOREN) study also showed that reducing the dose of IFN did not appear to affect the efficacy of the Avastin and IFN combination which may lead to lower cumulative toxicity than other available treatments for patients with advanced RCC. In contrast, d
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SOURCE Roche
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