According to an article recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sutent® (sunitinib malate) improves anticancer responses and progression-free survival over interferon in the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer.
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. Metastatic RCC was historically treated with interferon alfa, an agent that stimulates the immune system to help fight the cancer.
Researchers continue to evaluate novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of metastatic RCC. Targeted agents are becoming a strong focus for treatment of this disease.
Sutent is an oral targeted agent that works by inhibiting multiple biologic pathways involved in the growth, replication, and spread of cancer cells. Sutent deprives cancer cells of blood and nutrients needed for growth.
Researchers from several medical institutions recently conducted a clinical trial to further evaluate Sutent in the treatment of metastatic RCC. This trial included 750 patients with metastatic RCC who had not received prior therapies. Patients were treated with Sutent or interferon and were directly compared.
- Progression-free survival was more than twice as long for patients treated with Sutent compared with to those treated with interferon: 11 months with Sutent and five months with interferon.
- Anticancer responses were 31% for patients treated with Sutent, compared with just 6% for those treated with interferon.
- Patients treated with Sutent reported a greater quality of life compared with those treated with interferon.
The researchers concluded that patients with metastatic RCC who have not received prior therapies have improved progression-free survival and improved quality of life if treated with Sutent rather than interferon. Patients with metastatic RCC may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of treatment with Sutent.
Reference: Motzer R, Hutson T, Tomczak P, et al. Sunitinib versus interferon alfa in metastatic renal-cell carcinoma. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007; 356:115-124.
Related News:Sutent® Approved for Kidney Cancer (1/27/2006)
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