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Drugs Show Promise in Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer

Sunitinib and sorafenib effective in patients who failed prior antiangiogenic therapy

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Sunitinib and sorafenib, two novel therapeutic agents that target blood vessel growth in tumors, appear to show antitumor activity in patients with metastatic renal carcinoma who have failed prior antiangiogenic therapy, suggesting that sequential inhibition of the angiogenic pathway may be a feasible treatment strategy, according to an article published in The Journal of Urology in January.

Ila Tamaskar, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center in Cleveland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 30 patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who received prior antiangiogenic therapy, and were being treated with sunitinib and sorafenib at the time of review. Previously used drugs included thalidomide, lenalidomide, bevacizumab, volociximab, AG13736, sorafenib and sunitinib.

Of 16 patients receiving sunitinib after failing prior antiangiogenic therapy, 13 exhibited some tumor shrinkage and nine met criteria for partial response according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. Of 14 patients receiving sorafenib, 10 had some tumor shrinkage, including one with a partial response. Median time to progression was 10.4 months.

The authors offer possible explanations for the observed antitumor effect of the drugs in the face of failed prior therapy: "Foremost is that even agents that are thought to affect similar targets with similar potency, are not entirely overlapping in their antitumor mechanism and, thus, sequential use may lead to an antitumor effect."

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