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A treatment for renal cell carcinoma, or metastatic kidney cancer, is showing promise and improving an otherwise bleak outlook for patients.
Everolimus, also called certican, can stall progression for patients who have experienced failure with other treatments, according to an article in The Lancet.
Everolimus, a derivative of rapomycin, affects an important intracellular signalling pathway regulating proliferation, growth, cellular metabolism, and angiogenesis.
Dr Robert Motzer, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and colleagues performed a randomised, controlled phase III trial in patients whose metastatic kidney cancer had continued to progress despite treatment with sunitinib, sorafenib, or both.
These patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio: 272 patients to receive 10mg of everolimus once daily, or 138 patients with a placebo.
This treatment, in tandem with high quality supportive care, was examined in terms of progression-free survival, with the study ending after 290 progression events occurred.
It was found that there was a significant difference in efficacy, which favoured the group that was administered everolimus.
The ethical implications of this progression, as it did not allow the placebo patients access to the drug, led to the trial’s termination after 191 progression events.
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