Sunitinib malate is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a type of stomach cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). It is used in patients whose condition has become worse while taking another drug called imatinib mesylate or who are not able to take imatinib mesylate.
An immunotherapy agent combined with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug significantly improved progression-free survival and reduced the risk of death compared to a single agent treatment in advanced kidney cancer patients, according to first results of a phase 3 clinical trial. The pivotal study could lead to a new treatment option for patients with metastatic kidney cancer.
Treatments for kidney cancer have improved considerably over the past few decades. In 1988, when Memorial Sloan Kettering oncologist Robert Motzer started researching the disease, the average survival was less than one year.