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MET Inhibitor Savolitinib in Advanced Papillary Renal Cell Cancer

Treatment with savolitinib, a potent and selective MET inhibitor, may prove to be of benefit to a subgroup of patients with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma—those whose tumors are driven by overactivity of the MET signaling pathway. However, savolitinib was not effective for patients whose tumors lacked the MET abnormality, reported Toni Choueiri, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“Our study identified a defined molecular group and highlights the prevalence of MET-driven disease in this rare population of [renal cell carcinoma] patients,” wrote the authors.

This single-arm, multicenter phase II clinical trial included 109 patients with locally advanced or metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma. In 40% of these patients, their disease was driven by MET.

MET-driven papillary renal cell carcinoma seemed to be strongly associated with response to treatment with savolitinib. No responses were reported in those with MET-independent disease, whereas eight confirmed partial responses were noted in patients with MET-driven disease. Furthermore, median progression-free survival was longer in those with MET-driven disease than in those with MET-independent disease (6.2 vs. 1.4 months; P<.001). In terms of toxicity, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and peripheral edema were the most frequent adverse events associated with savolitinib.