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Drug Sorafenib Improves Kidney Cancer Outcomes

It helped older and younger patients, study says

THURSDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- People with kidney cancer, regardless of age, seem to benefit from and tolerate sorafenib drug therapy equally well, a new study says.

The finding, published online Oct. 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, counters the general perception that older patients derive less benefit from the therapy and are more likely to suffer side effects than younger patients.

The study, conducted by Tim Eisen of Addenbrooke's Hospital and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and colleagues, found patients age 70 and older and those 69 and younger had similar responses to the drug in terms of self-reported health deterioration and improved quality of life over that time.

"Sorafenib treatment appeared to improve outcomes among patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, regardless of age," the authors wrote. "Additionally, side effects were expected, mild, and medically manageable. There was no notable difference in the frequency or severity of sorafenib-related toxicity between younger and older patients."

The groups also had similar median progression-free survival times with young patients going almost 24 weeks and older ones just passing 26 weeks. The percentage of older patients who had a complete or partial response to the treatment or had the disease stabilize was 84.3 percent compared with 83.5 percent for the younger patients.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about kidney and renal cancer.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, Oct. 7, 2008

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