Nav: Home

A new treatment option for patients with renal cancer

December 20, 2007

Treatment with bevacizumab plus interferon improves progression-free survival in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma compared with interferon alone, and will provide a new first-line treatment option for patients with renal cancer, according to an Article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

There are 120 000 new cases of renal cell carcinoma in Europe and the USA every year, and it causes 60 000 deaths. Until recently the standard treatment options for metastatic renal cell carcinoma were limited to immunotherapy with either interleukin 2 or interferon, both of which had modest response rates (<20%) along with substantial toxicities. Newer antiangiogenesis-targeting agents* such as sunitinib, and temsirolimus have provided further options for treatment and improved prognosis in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Bevacizumab, another antiangiogenesis-targeting agent, has shown an improvement in time to progression in phase II studies of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, and has a well-defined safety profile that includes more than 10 000 patients.

Dr Bernard Escudier (Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France) and colleagues did an international, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, phase III trial of 649 patients with previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma to determine whether first-line treatment with bevacizumab plus interferon alfa improved efficacy compared to interferon alfa alone. The authors unblinded their study early. Data for the primary endpoint of overall survival were not mature, but the secondary endpoint of progression-free survival from the interim analysis were sufficient for reporting.

325 patients received bevacizumab with interferon and 316 received placebo plus interferon. According to the authors there were 230 progression events in the bevacizumab plus interferon alfa group and 275 in the control group. There were 114 deaths in the bevacizumab plus interferon alfa group and 137 in the control group. The authors note that median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the bevacizumab arm compared with the control group (10.2 months vs 5.4 months). Furthermore, the safety profile was consistent with previous observations, and the grade 3/4 adverse events were manageable with standard therapies.

The authors conclude: "This treatment [bevacizumab plus interferon] is clearly comparable with the most active treatment, and with a very good safety profile, will provide new options for renal cancer patients."** They go on: "The availability of a variety of active agents provides increased treatment options and the opportunity to provide several lines of therapy and improved survival."

In an accompanying Comment, Dr Robert Motzer and Dr Ethan Basch (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA) say: "Phase II trials of bevacizumab as first-line and second-line monotherapy report response rates (15% and 10% respectively) similar to those observed with interferon alone. The high response rate (31%) seen in Escudier's trial suggests that interferon does contribute to the efficacy of this regimen." They go on: "The study supports the vascular endothelial growth factor blockade as a therapeutic approach to the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma and highlights the need for further research to define the optimum in the rapidly changing era of targeted therapy".
-end-
Dr Bernard Escudier, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. escudier@igr.fr T) +33 1 42 11 54 10

Comment Jeanne D'Agostino, Media Relations, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA. dagostij@mskcc.org T) +1 646 227 3137

Notes to Editors

*.Antiangiogenesis-targeting agents stop tumor growth by preventing the formation of new blood vessels by targeting and inhibiting the function of a natural protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that stimulates new blood vessel formation.

**Quote directly from author and cannot be found in the articleView the paper associated with this press release at http://multimedia.thelancet.com/pdf/press/Renal.pdf

Lancet

Related Immunotherapy Articles:

Algorithm personalizes which cancer mutations are best targets for immunotherapy
As tumor cells multiply, they often spawn tens of thousands of genetic mutations.
Tasmanian devil research could help tackle immunotherapy resistance
A cluster of interacting proteins that are active in both human cancers and Tasmanian devil facial tumours, may give clues to how cancers evade the immune system, according to a study part-funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Cancer Cell today (Thursday).
B cells linked to immunotherapy for melanoma
Immunotherapy uses our body's own immune system to fight cancer.
Delivering immunotherapy directly to brain tumors
A new study published this week gives insight into how cancer immunotherapies might one day be delivered directly to the brain in order to treat brain tumors.
Researchers discover a new form of immunotherapy
A new form of immunotherapy that has so far been tested on mice makes it probable, that oncologists in the future may be able to treat some of the patients who are not responding to existing types of immunotherapy.
More Immunotherapy News and Immunotherapy Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...