Clinical studies have shown that cabozantinib (Cometriq™) can be an effective form of treatment for medullary thyroid cancer when it has spread to other areas of the body. The results from these trials showed that cabozantinib improved progression-free survival by about seven months. Progression-free survival is the length of time after treatment starts that the cancer does not become worse.
People in the trial who took cabozantinib had a median progression-free survival time of 11.2 months, while those who received a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient) had a progression-free survival time of 4 months. However, this study did not show a difference in overall survival, which means that the percentage of people who remained alive during the study was the same for cabozantinib and the placebo.
(Click What Is Cabozantinib Used For? for a closer look at the results of clinical trials on this medication. This full-length article also discusses how this drug works and whether it is safe for use in children and older adults.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Cometriq [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Exelixis;2012 November.
National Cancer Institute. Medullary thyroid cancer (February 13, 2013). NCI Web site. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/thyroid/HealthProfessional/page7. Accessed April 25, 2013.
Schoenstadt, A. Thyroid cancer (July 9, 2008). eMedTV Web site. Available at: http://cancer.emedtv.com/thyroid-cancer/thyroid-cancer.html. Accessed April 25, 2013.
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