870 - Compliance with sunitinib treatment in patients with renal cell cancer

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Cytotoxic agents
Renal Cell Cancer
Biological therapy
Presenter Anneleen De Both
Authors A. De Both1, V. Kruse2, E. De Coene2, N. Clottens3, A. Somers3, S. Van Belle2, L. van Bortel4, S. Rottey5
  • 1University Hospital Ghent, 9000 - Ghent/BE
  • 2Medical Oncology, University Hospital Ghent, 9000 - Ghent/BE
  • 3Pharamcy, University Hospital Ghent, 9000 - Ghent/BE
  • 4Clinical Pharamcy, University Hospital Ghent, 9000 - Ghent/BE
  • 5Medical Oncology Dept., University Hospital Ghent, 9000 - Ghent/BE



Sunitinib (SUN) is one of the standard treatment options for metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC). There are several possible reasons for non-compliance to the prescribed doses: oral intake of the drug, side effects and the existence of multiple dosage forms. Prescribers are not always aware of this non-compliance.


In Belgium SUN can only be delivered by the hospital pharmacy. This allows calculation of the used versus the prescribed dose. Based on these data, the minimum number of non-compliant weeks per patient were calculated.


34 incident patients were considered, treated in the Ghent University Hospital between 2007–2012. The total number of treatment weeks for this patient group was 1079 (ranging between 1 and 108 weeks). A total of 850 weeks were suitable for analysis. 14 out of these 34 patients (41.2%) had at least one week in their treatment period of non-compliance (insufficient number of pills), with the percentage of time of treatment non-compliance in these individual patients ranging from 2–40 % of the total treatment time, the average being 19 % of the weeks. The group with one or more weeks of non-compliance were the patients with the longest SUN intake: 47.2 versus 20.8 months of intake. On the other hand 5/34 patients (14.7%) received considerably more pills from the pharmacy than their treatment regimen warranted.


In our single-center database of patients treated by SUN for mRCC, we demonstrated that over 40% of the patients were possibly non-compliant with their prescribed SUN dose. This occurred more frequently in long-term treatment. Given the average non-compliance time in this subgroup (19% of the weeks) we can conclude that this might significantly influence overall survival and response to treatment. We thus advocate a tighter patient follow-up and a control of drug prescription and delivery, which could result in detection of non-compliance more rapidly.


S. Rottey: Advisory board Pfizer, Novartis, Bayer, GSK Research grant Pfizer, Bayer.

All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.