Phase II study of sunitinib in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and irradiated brain metastases

Silvia Novello, Carlos Camps, Francesco Grossi, Julien Mazieres, Lauren Abrey, Jean Marc Vernejoux, Aron Thall, Shem Patyna, Tiziana Usari, Zhixiao Wang, Richard C. Chao, Giorgio Scagliotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Brain metastases frequently cause significant morbidity in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Sunitinib is a multitargeted inhibitor of tyrosine kinase receptors, including vascular endothelial growth factor receptors and platelet-derived growth factor receptors, which has single-agent antitumor activity in refractory NSCLC. This phase II study evaluated the antitumor activity and safety of sunitinib in patients with pretreated NSCLC and irradiated brain metastases. Methods: Patients received sunitinib 37.5 mg on a continuous daily dosing schedule. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Secondary end points included overall survival, patient-reported outcomes, and safety, including risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) associated with focal neurological deficit. Results: Sixty-four patients received sunitinib (median age 61 years), most (83%) had received prior systemic therapy, 63% had adenocarcinoma, and 19% had squamous cell carcinoma; most (55%) were never-smokers. Median progression-free survival was 9.4 weeks (90% confidence interval [CI]: 7.5-13.1), and median overall survival was 25.1 weeks (95% CI: 13.4-35.5). The most common treatment-emergent (all-causality) nonhematologic toxicities (any grade) were fatigue (38%) and decreased appetite and constipation (both 25%). The most common grade 3/4 nonhematologic toxicities were dyspnea (9%) and fatigue (8%). Lymphopenia (20%) and neutropenia (13%) were the most common grade 3/4 hematologic abnormalities. Serious neurologic adverse events occurred in six patients (9%), and none were treatment-related. No cases of ICH were reported. Conclusions: Sunitinib administration on a continuous daily dosing schedule in patients with NSCLC and brain metastases was safe and manageable, with no increased risk of ICH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1260-1266
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Brain metastases
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Safety
  • Sunitinib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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