A recent study coming out of China has identified a new oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) with promising safety and efficacy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Anti-angiogenic treatments, such as the TKIs sunitinib, pazopanib and axitinib, play an important role in the treatment of metastatic RCC. A new TKI called apatinib targets the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of apatinib in patients with metastatic RCC.

Fifty-three (53) patients with metastatic RCC were enrolled in the study. Fourteen (14) patients had a partial response to apatinib and 31 patients had stable disease. Thus, the disease control rate was 84.9% and the objective response rate was 26.4%. The median progression-free survival was 11.2 months.

Most adverse events were mild to moderate. The severe adverse events were hypertension, anaemia, and low levels of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia).

Apatinib showed promising efficacy and manageable toxicity in metastatic RCC patients. Further clinical trials are needed.

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