Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial comparing everolimus with sunitinib for kidney cancer that has spread (ASPEN)
This trial was for people with an uncommon type of renal cell cancer called non clear cell kidney cancer. Cancer Research UK supported this trial.
More about this trial
When this trial was done, there wasn’t a standard treatment for non clear cell kidney cancer that had spread to another part of the body. Early research showed that either sunitinib or everolimus might be a useful treatment.
In this trial, researchers wanted to find out which treatment worked better for this group of people.
The aims of this trial were to
- find out if sunitinib or everolimus worked better for non clear cell renal cancer
- learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that sunitinb worked better than everolimus for people with non clear cell renal cell cancer.
This was a randomised trial. 108 people took part. They were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups.
- 51 had sunitinib
- 57 had everolimus
The researchers looked at the average length of time people lived without signs of their cancer getting worse. This is called progression free survival. On average it was
- just over 8 months (8.3 months) in the people who had sunitinib
- just under 6 months (5.6 months) in the people who had everolimus
The more serious side effects of both drugs included
- high blood pressure
- inflammation of the lungs (pneumonitis)
- a sore mouth (stomatitis)
- redness or soreness on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet (hand foot syndrome)
These were more common in the people who had had sunitinib.
The trial team concluded that sunitinib improved progression free survival in this group of patients.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Andy Armstrong
Professor Rob Jones
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKE/10/015.