Cabozantinib has been shown to work for the treatment of metastatic medullary thyroid cancer in a clinical study. In this study, people with medullary thyroid cancer that had progressed and spread to other areas of the body (was metastatic) were randomly given either cabozantinib or a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).
People in the study given cabozantinib had a median progression-free survival time of 11.2 months. (Progression-free survival is the length of time after treatment starts that the cancer does not get worse.) In comparison, people given the placebo had a progression-free survival time of four months.
However, this study did not show a difference in overall survival. This means the percentage of people who remained alive during the study was the same for cabozantinib and the placebo.
Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with cabozantinib include the following:
- This medication comes in the form of a capsule. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- Cabozantinib should be taken on an empty stomach with at least eight ounces of water. Do not eat for at least two hours before and one hour after taking your dose.
- Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open them.
- Try to take your dose at the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
- You may need to take different-strength capsules to make up your total daily dose. Make sure you know how many of each capsule to take each day.
- Do not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit during cabozantinib treatment. Doing so could increase your blood levels of the drug, potentially increasing your risk for side effects.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.