Results from the phase 3 CLEAR study were presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting at the weekend. Previous studies have shown that lenvatinib (VEGF inhibitor) used together with pembrolizumab (immune checkpoint inhibitor) resulted in better survival and cancer shrinkage compared to sunitinib when used for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who had not been treated before. In this oral presentation, the health-related quality of life of these patients was reported.
There were 1069 patients in this study, who were put into 3 groups: one group were treated with lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab, another group with lenvatinib plus everolimus, and the third group with sunitinib. Health-related quality of life was assess using three questionnaires, (FKSI-DRS, EORTC QLQ-C30, and EuroQoL EQ-5D-3L), at baseline, on day 1 of each cycle of treatment and when the patient came off treatment. Only quality of life information from patients who had been treated with at least one dose of study medication was analysed.
Patients treated with the lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab combination had better physical function and cancer symptoms, such as tiredness (fatigue), shortness of breath (dyspnoea), and constipation, as well as improved quality of life than patients on sunitinib. However, sunitinib scored better than the lenvatinib plus everolimus combination for overall health-related quality of life, pain, appetite loss, and diarrhoea.