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A recent clinical trial looked at a new anti-cancer medication called zanzalintinib (a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, TKI) for the treatment of patients with clear cell kidney cancer who have already been treated. The STELLAR-001 study is a phase 1b trial looking at zanzalintinib alone and given together with atezolizumab in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer. Many of the patients in the study had exhausted all their treatment options.
There were 32 kidney cancer patients in the study. Nearly all of the kidney cancer patients (97% ) had already been treated with immunotherapy and 8 in 10 patients had been treated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. 8 in 10 patients had kidney cancer that was of moderate risk of getting worse.
After an average of just over 8 months follow-up, nearly 4 in 10 patients responded to treatment and their cancer got smaller. The cancer was controlled in nearly 9 in 10 patients. Half of the patients were continuing with treatment after 8 months.
Less than 1 in 10 patients stopped treatment because they could not tolerate zanzalintinib. Unfortunately, there were 3 deaths during the study, none of which were related to treatment. There was one life-threatening side effect, which was also not related to treatment. Of note, the hand-foot syndrome side effect was low with zanzalintinib and less than 1 in 10 patients reported mild-moderate hand-foot syndrome.
Zanzalintinib has promise for the treatment of advanced or metastatic kidney cancer patients who have already been treatment with multiple lines of therapy. The STELLAR-001 is ongoing and further information is being collected about the effectiveness of this new anti-cancer treatment.