Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug for advanced kidney cancer shrinks tumors prior to surgery

Date:
February 18, 2010
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
Physicians found that therapy before surgery with the drug sorafenib can reduce the size of large tumors and could be safely undertaken administered without adding significantly to the risks of surgery.

More than 57,000 Americans face a diagnosis of kidney cancer each year. Now patients with advanced disease may soon have another treatment option. Physicians who conducted a pilot study at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center found that therapy before surgery with the drug sorafenib can reduce the size of large tumors and could be safely undertaken administered without adding significantly to the risks of surgery.

Their results are published in the Feb. 16, 2010 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, a UNC Lineberger physician-scientist, is the study's principal investigator. "We found that primary kidney tumors responded to this therapy, shrinking up to 40 percent prior to surgery. What this means for kidney cancer patients is that their surgery may be less extensive and, we hope, can provide a better outcome for patients because of tumor shrinkage," she says. Rathmell is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

At present, removal of the primary tumor (often with the kidney as well) is the standard treatment for patients with kidney cancer, whether the disease is localized to the kidney or has spread to distant sites. This broad spectrum includes patients with very large tumors that may not be ideal for surgical removal as well as patients who may benefit from early systemic interventions, but who would also benefit from removing the kidney later. This study addressed the question of whether systemic therapy, and in particular, therapy that targets the process by which tumors seek and find new blood vessels to fuel their growth, can benefit patients before they undergo surgery to remove tumors.

The study was conducted to evaluate the safety and feasibility of preoperative treatment using sorafenib (Nexavarฎ) in 30 patients with stage two or higher kidney cancer including metastatic disease. Patients received their treatment at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and at Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh. They took two daily oral doses of the drug for between four to eight weeks prior to surgery.

Nexavar, manufactured by Bayer, is a targeted drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer and a type of liver cancer. Nexavar prevents the growth of new blood vessels that fuel tumor growth. Sorafenib is one among the class of new targeted agents approved by the FDA in 2005 for evidence of benefit for patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

Two previous studies had been conducted using similar targeted therapy drugs, Sutent and Avastin, but Rathmell's study is the largest to evaluate the use of Nexavar alone, and the first to explore the possibility that pre-operative treatment might benefit patients who do not have metastatic disease.

Study co-author Matthew Nielsen, MD, assistant professor of surgery in the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger urologic cancer program, notes, "This study is a major contribution to the field, demonstrating that Nexavar, is well-tolerated for pre-surgery use, with no increase in the rates of complications or difficulties recovering from surgical removal of the kidney. We are optimistic that this and future similar studies will ultimately allow us to offer, individualized treatment strategies for patients with this common and dangerous disease."

Another important aspect of this study is the successful integration of systemic therapy with what is traditionally a surgical stage of the disease. According to Nielsen, "This study highlights the value of the team approach to urologic cancer management and exemplifies the need for well-coordinated multidisciplinary oncology services in advancing new forms of treatment."

Rathmell concludes, "This study is promising. We saw significant reduction in the size of tumors using this drug, reducing the extent of surgery and making patient recovery less challenging. A larger study needs to be conducted to determine if preoperative systemic therapy improves outcomes in patients undergoing surgery for kidney cancer."

Rathmell serves on an advisory board for and has received research funding to conduct clinical aspects of this study from Bayer/Onyx, the manufacturer of sorafenib.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Drug for advanced kidney cancer shrinks tumors prior to surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217152329.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2010, February 18). Drug for advanced kidney cancer shrinks tumors prior to surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217152329.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Drug for advanced kidney cancer shrinks tumors prior to surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217152329.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins