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Systemic Pre-Surgical Treatment Can Prolong Survival Of Kidney Cancer Patients

A preliminary result of The Phase II Clinical Trial conducted by a cancer institute in USA provides the first evidence on pre-surgical treatment // for kidney cancer with the help of bevacizumab and erlotinib[1], the results have also proved that the treatment is safe, effective and may help in prolonging patient's survival.

Renal cell carcinoma [2] (kidney cancer) is notoriously hard to treat, especially once it has started to spread to other sites in the body. If it has metastasised to the lymph nodes, five-year survival is between 5-15% and if it has spread to other organs the five-year survival is less than five per cent.

Studies have been carried out investigating the use of targeted therapies, such as bevacizumab and erlotinib, after surgery, but researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA, are conducting the first trial to investigate their use before surgery.

Assistant professor of medicine, Eric Jonasch, told a news briefing at the EORTC-NCI-AACR [3] Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Prague today (Thursday 9 November) that, as of June 2006, the 20 patients enrolled in the trial within the previous year were all still alive. One had complete remission in the primary tumour and stable disease in bone metastases, three patients were in partial remission, 13 patients had stable disease and three patients had progressive disease.

'Without this treatment I would have expected most of them to have progressive disease by now,' said Prof Jonasch. 'The average time to progressive disease is usually about twelve weeks, and I would argue that our patients have more aggressive disease as they have not had the benefit of any previous treatment.

'These early data suggest pre-surgical treatment with bevacizumab and erlotinib is safe and efficacious in patients with previously unresected, untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma, with shrinkage of both the metastatic diseas
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