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This article is the author's final published version in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, Volume 62, 2023, Pg. 587 - 598.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Author(s) 2023.


Background and Objective

In the USA, cabozantinib was approved for the treatment of patients aged ≥ 12 years with radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) who progressed on prior vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFR)-targeted therapy based on the Phase 3 COSMIC-311 trial, which evaluated cabozantinib 60 mg/day versus placebo. Approved dosing is 60 mg/day for adults and for pediatric patients aged ≥ 12 years with body surface area (BSA) ≥ 1.2 m2, and 40 mg/day for pediatric patients aged ≥ 12 years with BSA < 1.2 m2. This report describes a population pharmacokinetic (PopPK) and exposure–response analysis of COSMIC-311.


A PopPK model was developed using concentration-time data from COSMIC-311 and 6 other cabozantinib studies. The final (full) PopPK model was used to simulate the effect of sex, body weight, race, and patient population. For exposure–response analysis, derived datasets from COSMIC-311 were constructed for time-to-event analyses of progression-free survival (PFS) and safety endpoints.


The PopPK analysis included 4746 cabozantinib PK samples from 1745 patients and healthy volunteers. Body weight had minimal impact on cabozantinib exposure but increasing body weight was associated with increased apparent volume of distribution. Based on model-based simulation, adolescents < 40 kg had higher maximum plasma concentration at steady state of cabozantinib 60 mg/day compared to adults. Allometric scaling simulation in adolescents < 40 kg demonstrated higher exposure with 60 mg/day relative to adults receiving the same dose, while exposure with 40 mg/day in adolescents < 40 kg was similar to 60 mg/day in adults. The exposure–response analysis included 115 patients. There was no clear relationship between PFS or dose modification and cabozantinib exposure. A statistically significant relationship was demonstrated for cabozantinib exposure and hypertension (Grade ≥ 3) and fatigue/asthenia (Grade ≥ 3).


These results support the dosing strategy implemented in COSMIC-311 and the BSA-based label recommendations for adolescents. The cabozantinib dose should be reduced to manage adverse events as indicated.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License