SAN FRANCISCO—Non-small-cell lung cancer patients with irradiated brain metastases responded favorably to treatment with sunitinib malate (Sutent), according to interim results presented at the 2009 World Conference on Lung Cancer. In the 53 patients who could be evaluated for response, progression-free survival came in at 9.9 weeks, leading principal investigator Silvia Novello, MD, PhD, to call the results encouraging in a population that faces poor prognosis and increased morbidity as well as increased mortality.
Patients with NSCLC who had previously received whole-brain radiation therapy for brain metastases, and less than two prior systemic therapies, were eligible to receive single-agent sunitinib (37.5 mg/day) with continuous daily dosing in a four-week cycle. PFS was the primary study endpoint (abstract C1.7).
"These data support preclinical findings suggesting that VEGF signaling is required for the growth of brain metastases and that...sunitinib (has) the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier," said Dr. Novello, who is based at the University of Turin and San Luigi Hospital in Orbassano, Italy.