New Weapon Against Kidney Cancer Shows Promise

Experimental drug shrinks tumors in advanced cases, study finds

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SATURDAY, June 5, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The investigational drug sorafenib shows promise in some kidney cancer patients, according to interim results from a clinical trial.

Researchers from five U.S. centers report the drug has demonstrated a significant and lasting effect in people with advanced renal cell cancer. The results were presented June 5 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in New Orleans.

Of the 106 patients in the study, 37 (35 percent) experienced tumor shrinkage of at least 25 percent within the first 12 weeks of treatment. Thirteen of those 37 patients had tumor shrinkage of more than 50 percent at 12 weeks.

Of the 37 patients whose tumors shrank, 88 percent were free of cancer progression after 24 weeks.

"This drug appears to cause tumor regression in a subset of patients, to maintain those regressions and to do it with limited toxicity," lead investigator Dr. Mark Ratain, chief of clinical pharmacology at the University of Chicago, said in a prepared statement.

Further clinical trials of the drug are planned.

This study was funded by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about treatment of renal cell cancer.

SOURCE: American Society of Clinical Oncology, news release, June 5, 2004

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