© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
The study: Kidney cancer treatment has improved with the development of targeted therapies, which are treatments that target faulty genes or proteins that contribute to cancer growth and development. Researchers evaluated whether treatment with the targeted therapy drug everolimus (Certican) could slow the growth and spread of renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) when other targeted therapies, such as sunitinib (Sutent) and/or sorafenib (Nexavar), stopped working. In this study, 272 patients with metastatic kidney cancer (cancer that has spread) were given everolimus, and 138 were given best supportive care (treatment of symptoms).
The results: Treatment with everolimus delayed cancer growth and spread. After 6 months, the cancer had not grown or spread in 26% of the patients who received everolimus, compared with 2% of the patients who received best supportive care. The average time it took the cancer to grow or spread was 4 months for the patients who received everolimus and about 2 months for patients who were given best supportive care. Severe side effects occurred in 5% of patients and included mouth sores, anemia, and weakness.
What this means for patients
“This study has given us a new and clearly useful tool for treating renal cell tumors, and everolimus is a step forward for patients living with this disease,” said lead author Robert J. Motzer, MD, Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. “In the future, kidney cancer is likely to be managed as a chronic disease.” Everolimus is only available through a U.S. clinical trial. Talk with your doctor for more information.
What to ask your doctor
- What are my treatment options for kidney cancer?
- What are the possible side effects of this treatment?
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