MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced kidney cancer who have a life expectancy of less than six months survive longer when treated with the experimental drug temsirolimus than either the standard treatment interferon-alpha or a combination of interferon-alpha and temsirolimus, according to research presented this week at the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta.
Gary R. Hudes, M.D., of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a phase III trial of 209 cancer patients who received temsirolimus, 207 who received interferon-alpha; and 210 who received both drugs.
The researchers found the median overall survival for the temsirolimus group was 10.9 months compared to 7.3 months for the interferon-alpha group and 8.4 months for the combination group. They also found that progression-free survival for the temsirolimus group was 3.7 months compared to 1.9 months for the interferon-alpha group and 3.7 months for the combination group.
"Temsirolimus is the first of these new agents to show an overall survival advantage for kidney cancer," Hudes said. "In addition, this was the first study focusing exclusively on patients whose cancer was so advanced they would not qualify for most other clinical trials."