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Advanced liver-cancer patients who receive sorafenib (Nexavar) live 44% longer than those who did not, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York have found.
Published in the 23 July 2008, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the findings significantly advance the management of liver cancer, the third cause of cancer death globally.
Mount Sinai research director Josep Llovet, who is also a professor at the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Group in Barcelona, Spain, said: “Our findings demonstrated survival advantages that are both statistically significant and clinically meaningful.”
Sorafenib is approved in the US for treating a form of advanced kidney cancer, and is currently being evaluated in patients with other cancers.
Patients who received sorafenib lived a median of 10.7 months compared with 7.9 months for those who received a placebo.
Time to cancer progression was also significantly longer in the treatment group: 5.5 vs 2.8 months. Due to the positive findings, the study was terminated early.
The incidence of adverse side effects was similar between the two groups (52% in the sorafenib group and 54% for placebo).
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