Cabozantinib is more effective than two similar drugs, as well as the current standard treatment, in extending survival in patients with metastatic papillary kidney cancer, according to a study published in the Lancet. With prior research indicating that mutations in the MET gene are a hallmark of papillary kidney cancer, investigators compared three MET target drugs— cabozantinib, crizotinib, and savolitinib—with the current standard of treatment, sunitinib, in 147 patients. Participants, who had mostly not received any prior treatment, were randomized to one of the four. The median progression-free survival rate was 5.6 months in the sunitinib group, much longer than in the savolitinib and crizotinib groups, compared with 9.2 months in the cabozantinib group. Among patients in the cabozantinib group, 23% experienced a significant reduction in tumor size, compared with just 4% of those in the sunitinib group. “We still have a long way to go to help make patients’ lives longer and better, but we do have a new standard treatment for these rare cancer patients,” said a study co-author.