Experimental drug shows promise in advanced kidney cancer

Sep 26, 2007

Barcelona, Spain: A new drug has shown promise in patients with advanced kidney cancer whose options run out after their tumour fails to respond to the cutting edge therapy.

The study, presented today (Wednesday) at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, showed that the experimental drug, axitinib, shrank tumours and delayed progression of the disease in a group of patients who are among the toughest to treat.

In the study, scientists gave axitinib to 62 patients whose kidney cancer had spread and who had not benefited from a standard treatment, sorafenib, a targeted therapy designed to disrupt cell division signals in cancer cells and block the tumour’s ability to form new blood vessels that help it grow. Fourteen of the patients also had been given – to no avail – another similarly targeted drug, sunitinib, after the sorafenib had failed to work. Axitinib works similarly to the other two but is believed to be more potent.

“More than half the patients – 51 percent – experienced tumour shrinkage and in 23 percent of them the shrinkage is considered significant,” said lead investigator Dr Brian I. Rini, an associate professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and a paid member of the Pfizer scientific advisory board. “Preliminary analysis shows the progression-free survival was on average more than 7.7 months. We think these results are impressive because these patients were heavily pre-treated and with drugs thought to be similar to axitinib.

“The disease progressed in only 24 percent of patients, which we think is low in this kind of setting,” Rini added. The study found the tumour remained stable in 37 percent of the patients.

“Historically, metastatic kidney cancer has been very tough to treat, with a median survival of 12 months. Through the results of this trial, it appears that axitinib is a very active drug in renal cell cancer that can benefit a large number of patients,” Rini added.

The drug’s maker, Pfizer, paid for the study. Axitinib is also being tested in advanced pancreatic, thyroid, lung and breast cancers.

Source: ECCO-the European CanCer Conference

Explore further: Increased risk for head, neck cancers in patients with diabetes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'

2 hours ago

(AP)—Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims.

Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

3 hours ago

(AP)—AT&T posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US.

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

3 hours ago

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Recommended for you

Incomplete HPV vaccination may offer some protection

6 hours ago

Minority women who received the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (HPV) even after becoming sexually active had lower rates of abnormal Pap test results than those who were never vaccinated. These findings appear in the journal ...

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut

6 hours ago

A multi-institutional team of researchers has developed a new nanoscale agent for imaging the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This safe, noninvasive method for assessing the function and properties of the GI tract in real time ...

User comments : 0