The treatment options for patients with metastatic renal cell cancer remain limited and unsatisfactory. Treatment with either interleukin-2 or interferon with or without chemotherapy is the current standard treatment with objective responses being observed in 10-15% of patients.
One promising new target for the treatment is the epidermal growth factor receptor, which is over-expressed in approximately 85% of patients with renal cell cancer. This over-expression is thought to be responsible for the growth of cancer. Suppression of this receptor could be of benefit in controlling cancer growth.
C225 is a monoclonal antibody which specifically binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor, blocks activation of an enzyme, and inhibits tumor growth in animals. This antibody was evaluated as a single agent in 54 patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. One partial and two minor responses were observed. All three responses were in patients with lung metastases. This drug is unlikely to be of major benefit when used alone but may have additive effect when used with other agents. Clinical trials are planned which evaluate C225 in combination with interleukin-2 and/or interferon in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. (Proceedings of American Society of Clinical Oncology, Vol 18, Abstract 1309, 1999)