Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass along with reduced muscle strength and/or impaired physical performance. It usually occurs in older people. In this study, the researchers looked at the presence of sarcopenia and its impact on survival in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treated with cabozantinib.

Twenty eight (28) patients were evaluable for sarcopenia, the majority of which (85.7%) were treated with second-line cabozantinib (60 mg/day). Initial CT scans revealed sarcopenia to be present in 13 patients (44.8%), which increased to 16 at the next CT scan. Patients with at least 10% muscle loss had significantly shorter 6-month progression-free survival (50% vs 79.8%). The presence of sarcopenia was not associated with severe or life-threatening adverse events.

These findings demonstrate the prevalence of sarcopenia among patients receiving cabozantinib and its relationship with poor progression-free survival. Further investigation in RCC is needed to explore the mechanisms of sarcopenia (and cachexia) and their impact on outcomes to identify treatments for this process.

Read more in Practice Update here