Sunitinib Alone or After Nephrectomy for Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: Is There Still a Role for Cytoreductive Nephrectomy?

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The CARMENA trial in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) demonstrated that treatment with sunitinib alone was noninferior to cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) followed by sunitinib (nephrectomy-sunitinib).The objective of this study was to provide updated overall survival (OS) outcomes of CARMENA and assess whether some subgroups may still benefit from upfront CN.CARMENA was a phase III trial in 450 patients with mRCC enrolled from 2009 to 2017.Patients in the intention-to-treat population received nephrectomy-sunitinib (standard of care [SOC]; n = 226) or sunitinib alone (n = 224).Primary endpoint was OS, assessed using an updated data cut-off (October 2018; median OS event-free follow-up, 36.6 mo). Patients were reclassified by risk using International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium (IMDC) criteria.Sunitinib alone was noninferior to nephrectomy-sunitinib (hazard ratio [HR], 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-1.19; p = 0.8) and demonstrated longer median OS (19.8 mo vs 15.6 mo, respectively). For patients with two or more IMDC risk factors, OS was significantly longer with sunitinib alone than with nephrectomy-sunitinib (31.2 mo vs 17.6 mo, respectively; HR, 0.65; p = 0.03). For patients with one IMDC risk factor, OS was longer for nephrectomy-sunitinib versus sunitinib alone although not significantly (31.4 mo vs 25.2 mo; HR, 1.30; p = 0.2). The post hoc nature of the subgroup analyses may limit their interpretation.Sunitinib alone was noninferior compared with nephrectomy-sunitinib, suggesting that CN should not be considered SOC in patients with mRCC requiring systemic treatment. Certain subgroups, including patients with one IMDC risk factor, may still benefit from upfront CN.We assessed the survival of patients with metastatic kidney cancer in a clinical trial. Patients treated with sunitinib on its own had the same survival as patients who had surgery before sunitinib treatment. We conclude that surgery may not be necessary for some patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

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Authors: Arnaud Méjean, Alain Ravaud, Simon Thezenas, Christine Chevreau, Karim Bensalah, Lionnel Geoffrois, Antoine Thiery-Vuillemin, Luc Cormier, Hervé Lang, Laurent Guy, Gwenaelle Gravis, Frederic Rolland, Claude Linassier, Eric Lechevallier, Stephane Oudard, Brigitte Laguerre, Marine Gross-Goupil, Jean Christophe Bernhard, Sandra Colas, Laurence Albiges, Thierry Lebret, Jean-Marc Treluyer, Marc-Olivier Timsit, Bernard Escudier