Cabozantinib Helps Manage Several Advanced Cancers and Shrink Bone Metastases

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 18, 2011

In a recent study, the drug cabozantinib helped manage various advanced cancers, particularly prostate, ovarian, and liver cancers. The drug also helped shrink bone metastases (cancer that has spread to the bone). Cabozantinib is a type of targeted therapy, which means it targets the cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.

The patients who participated in this study had advanced cancers that were worsening, and some had cancer that had spread to the bone. After 12 weeks of treatment with cabozantinib, 9% of patients had the cancer shrink or stop growing. However, the drug was more effective for patients with liver cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer: 76% of patients with liver cancer, 71% with prostate cancer, and 58% with ovarian cancer had the cancer shrink or stop growing.

Researchers also found that bone metastases either partially or completely disappeared after treatment for 59 out of the 68 patients with bone metastases. Treatment with cabozantinib also greatly reduced bone pain for these patients.

The side effects of cabozantinib included fatigue and hand-foot syndrome, a condition that causes redness, swelling, and pain on the hands and feet.

What this means for patients

“Cabozantinib appears to have significant effects on several treatment-resistant tumors, as well as impressive effects on bone metastases. In addition, these effects are associated with rapid improvement in pain, a reduction in the need for strong pain medications, and improvement in anemia,” said lead author Michael S. Gordon, MD, a medical oncologist at Pinnacle Oncology Hematology in Scottsdale, AZ. Cabozantinib is still being studied and may only be available in clinical trials.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What type of cancer do I have? What is the stage?
  • Has the cancer spread to my bones?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?
  • What treatment option do you recommend? Why?

For More Information

Cancer.Net Guides to Cancer

Understanding Targeted Treatments

Clinical Trials