Updated results from the phase III clinical trial known as TARGETs (Treatment Approaches in Renal cancer Global Evaluation Trial) continue to suggest that treatment of advanced kidney cancer with Nexavar® (sorafenib) improves survival. These results were presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

The kidneys are each filled with tiny tubules that clean and filter the blood-the process that removes waste and makes urine. Renal cell cancer (RCC) is a malignancy involving these tubules of the kidney. Metastatic RCC refers to cancer that has spread from the kidney to distant sites in the body.

Nexavar belongs to a group of drugs called targeted agents. Results presented at the 2006 ASCO meeting suggest that targeted therapies have an important role in the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. Nexavar blocks the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting several biological pathways that are involved in cellular replication and spread.

The TARGETs study compared Nexavar to a placebo in the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. The study enrolled more than 900 patients who had experienced a worsening of their cancer while receiving other treatments.

In April 2005, a preliminary analysis of the TARGETs data determined that patients who had received Nexavar survived significantly longer without a worsening of their cancer than patients who had received placebo. These results were shared with the study participants, and patients in the placebo group were allowed to start taking Nexavar. Thus far, close to half of the placebo patients have started taking Nexavar.

The TARGETs results presented at the 2006 ASCO meeting were updated but are still preliminary findings. The results continue to suggest a survival benefit among patients treated with Nexavar: overall survival was 19.3 months in the Nexavar group and 15.9 months in the placebo group.

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Though preliminary, these results suggest a continued benefit of Nexavar. The final results of this study are eagerly awaited.

Reference: Eisen T, Bukowski RM, Staehler M et al. Randomized Phase III Trial of Sorafenib in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): Impact of Crossover on Survival. Proceedings of the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Atlanta, GA. June 2006. Abstract # 4524.

Related News:

Nexavar® Has Significant Activity in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (5/15/2006)

Nexavar® Approved for Treatment of Advanced Kidney Cancer (12/21/2005)

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