New findings may help patients with deadly kidney cancer

Feb 18, 2010

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) researchers have found a way to reverse resistance to sunitinib, a treatment that is currently the first line of defense against clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), a deadly form of kidney cancer. Most patients who show a positive response to sunitinib develop a resistance to the drug after one year of treatment.

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women, striking nearly 50,000 Americans in 2009 and killing more than 11,000. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for 9 out of 10 kidney cancers, and ccRCC is the most common subtype, accounting for 8 out of 10 RCC cases.

"The research from Dr. Teh's (VARI) group is a critical step forward in understanding the mechanisms of response and resistance to the new standard of care therapies in such as sunitinib," said Brian Rini, MD, Solid Tumor Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.

Sunitinib received FDA approval in 2006 and is a standard of care for both ccRCC and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The drug is being investigated as a possible therapy for other cancers, including , colorectal cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer.

Researchers found that ccRCC tumor cells that had developed a resistance to sunitinib had increased secretion of the protein interleukin-8 (IL-8). Administering sunitinib and IL-8 neutralizing antibodies re-sensitized tumors to sunitinib treatment. Researchers also found that IL-8 may serve as a useful biomarker to predict patients' response to sunitinib treatment.

"The development of ccRCC resistance to sunitinib treatment is of major clinical concern," said VARI Distinguished Scientific Investigator Bin Tean Teh, M.D., Ph.D., whose laboratory published its findings in this month's issue of Cancer Research. "It is now of critical importance to validate these findings in the clinical setting."

Another study from Teh's laboratory also published in Cancer Research this month looked into exactly how sunitinib works. The study found that the treatment does not target , but rather the tumor's blood supply.

"Understanding how sunitinib works should have important implications for the improved treatment of ccRCC and perhaps other cancers as well," said VARI Postdoctoral Fellow Dan Huang, Ph.D., lead author of both studies.

"These insights will help build upon recent advances to extend clinical benefits to more patients with metastatic ," said Dr. Rini.

Explore further: Blueprint for next generation of chronic myeloid leukemia treatment

Provided by Van Andel Research Institute

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Finding will improve accuracy of cancer diagnosis

Apr 29, 2009

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) investigators working in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic researchers have determined that two types of kidney tumors previously thought to be different diseases are actually variations ...

Recommended for you

How 'wriggling' skin cancer cells go on the move

4 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at King's College London have discovered a new way that melanoma skin cancer cells can invade healthy tissue and spread round the body, according to research published in Nature Co ...

Breast cancer imaging surgery world-first

4 hours ago

A world-first clinical trial to test new imaging technology that can scan tumours during breast cancer surgery has been launched at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with King's College ...

User comments : 0