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Combined drugs ‘stop cancer growth’


Patients with advanced kidney cancer could be offered a new first-line treatment after a study showed a specific drugs combination prevented tumours growing with manageable side effects.

The study, published online in The Lancet Oncology, found a “chemo-switch” treatment was more effective for patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) than using the targeted drug sorafenib alone or with chemotherapy.

Combining treatment options could improve survival rates and response to medication, according to preclinical studies which used a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) chemotherapy (gemcitabine), sorafenib and metronomic chemotherapy, which is frequent low-dose treatments with capecitabine.

The tumour’s rapidly-growing cells are initially killed with the MTD of one chemotherapy drug, which is maintained by a metronomic dose of the second drug. Results showed a rise in progression-free survival (PFS

More frequent, lower doses stop new blood vessels from developing and so prevent cancer growth, and also increases anti-tumour activity by including a targeted inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR).

The study authors wrote in The Lancet Oncology Online First: “The combination of sorafenib with MTD gemcitabine and metronomic capecitabine resulted in a clinical benefit rate of over 90%, with an acceptable level of toxicity.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
The Lancet Oncology

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