Pancreatic-tumour trials of the kidney-cancer drug Sutent (sunitinib malate) have been stopped after being hailed a success by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC).
Dr Mace Rothenberg, spokesman for manufacturer Pfizer said: “These findings show that Sutent provides a benefit for patients with advanced, well-differentiated pancreatic islet cell tumours – a rare cancer with limited treatment options.”
All patients in the trial have now been given the option of continuing to take the drug pending analysis of the data, which will be presented at a future scientific meeting.
This phase III trial of sunitinib was initiated following results of an earlier Phase II trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology last year.
Pancreatic islet cell tumours are rare, indolent tumours of the endocrine pancreas that include insulinomas, glucagonomas and gastrinomas. Current treatment options are limited.
Sutent has already been approved for advanced renal cell carcinoma and second-line gastrointestinal stromal tumour, and is credited with advancing the treatment for these two difficult-to-treat cancers.
Copyright Press Association 2009