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From Sorafenib doubles survival in renal cell cancer

Renal cell cancer Cancer Main Cancer news  

Sorafenib doubles survival in renal cell cancer

For a long time renal cell cancer has been a difficult disease to treat. Now there are some signs to suggest that this situation is changing. A new drug called Sorafenib has been shown to improve progression free survival (time interval without the disease progression) in patients with previously treated metastatic renal cell cancer. This study was presented at 41 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting held in May 2005.

The drug sorafenib, otherwise known as BAY 43-9006, is an oral agent with dual action, against Raf kinase and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). This dual action is thought to result in suppression of cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis. This dual action is shown to be beneficial in different tumor types.

These results in renal cell cancer came from a large randomized double-blind phase III study. He researchers found that sorafenib was well tolerated and the use has resulted in doubling of the progression free survival compared to the use of placebo. The study has not been long enough to evaluate for overall survival in these patients with renal cell cancer.

A total of 905 patients participated in this study. Initially the patients from placebo group was not allowed to cross over to sorfenib arm, but once the clear advantage of sorfenib became obvious the investigators allowed cross over from the placebo arm on progression of disease.

The progression free survival was evaluated in these patients after a period of 66 weeks from patient randomization. The median progression free survival was 24 weeks for patients randomized to sorafenib compared 12 weeks in patients who was receiving placebo. This was statistically significant with a P value of <.000001.

The benefits from sorafenib were observed in all subgroups of patients, regardless of age, duration of disease or prior therapies. Overall 80 percent of patients who received sorafenib had disease control. Seventy eight percent of patients in the sorafenib group achieved stable disease compared to 55 percent in the placebo arm. Two percent of the patients who received sorafenib showed partial response on the other hand no patient in the placebo arm showed partial response. Seventy four percent of all patients on sorafenib had some amount of tumor shrinkage compared to 20 percent seen in the placebo arm.

Another remarkable fact about sorafenib was that the treatment was very well tolerated in 768 patients. The most common side effects were hypertension, fatigue, diarrhea, rash, and a rash on the hand and foot (hand and foot syndrome). There was no significant fatigue in those patients who received sorafenib compared to those who were taking placebo.

Cancer terms:
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