These are very interesting changes in blood markers induced by sunitinib. Ongoing studies of these and of other markers might help us to understand how the drug works in HCC and what changes might be relevant in predicting the potential clinical benefits in these patients, Dr. Zhu said.
The Harvard Medical School research team involved in this study includes Dushyant Sahani, M.D., and Rakesh K. Jain, Ph.D. The study was funded by Pfizer, Inc., manufacturers of sunitinib (marketed as Sutent).
Recombinant IL-21 in combination with sorafenib: Preliminary results from a phase I/II study in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer: Abstract A 60.
Two drugs appear to work better than one in treatment of patients with metastatic kidney cancer, according to early results from the first and only clinical trial testing a combination of sorafenib and recombinant interleukin-21.
Among 11 patients with renal cell carcinoma who have gone on to have two or more rounds of combination treatment, 10 have experienced tumor shrinkage, and four patients have had 30 percent or greater reduction in tumor size as measured by the investigators. A total of 13 patients have been enrolled so far in this Phase I study, which is testing three different dose levels.
These preliminary data are encouraging, as treatment with sorafenib alone was associated with a confirmed overall response rate of only two percent in the Phase III trial that led to regulatory approval, said the studys lead investigator, John A. Thompson, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Washington and a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The study was funded by Zymogenetics, which developed recombinant interleukin-21 (IL-21).
However, at this point the number of patients treated in our study is still small and it is too early to draw a definite
|Contact: Greg Lester|
American Association for Cancer Research