Everolimus is a standard drug used to treat an aggressive form of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma. It works by inhibiting a molecule called mTOR, which helps cancer cells grow. However, in some patients the cancer continues to grow despite everolimus.
Cabozantinib (XL184) is a drug that blocks several proteins (called MET, RET, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2) that help keep cancer cells alive. It is approved for treating thyroid cancer, but its use for renal cell carcinoma is considered investigational.
In this study, researchers are comparing the effectiveness of cabozantinib and everolimus in patients with renal cell carcinoma that has continued to grow despite receiving treatment that inhibited an enzyme called tyrosine kinase (“tyrosine kinase inhibitors”). They hope that cabozantinib is more effective than everolimus for treating progressive kidney cancer. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive everolimus or cabozantinib, but not both. Both drugs are taken orally (by mouth).