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Kidney Cancer Drug May Work for Lung Cancer

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http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_chann ... ryid=13868

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A drug already approved for the treatment of kidney cancer is showing promise for lung cancer, too.

According to new research out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sunitinib malate resulted in six partial responses among 63 patients with advanced lung cancer who had failed treatment with standard chemotherapy drugs. In another 27 patients, the cancer was stabilized by the treatment.

The study was conducted between January 2005 and October 2005. All participants were suffering from non small cell lung cancer -- the most common form of the disease -- and took one 50-milligram pill per day for four weeks, followed by an additional two weeks off the treatment.

"As a single agent, this drug worked in a difficult group of patients whose advanced disease had been previously treated with other chemotherapies and whose options were limited," says study author Mark A. Socinski, M.D. His group is now studying continuous use of the medication in another 47 patients.

Sunitinib malate works by preventing the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor. Another lung cancer drug, Avastin (bevacizumab), operates on a similar basis and has been shown to prolong survival in patients with lung cancer.

Side effects noted in the study included fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and high blood pressure. One patient developed bleeding in the lungs and another experienced bleeding in the brain.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Presented at the Annual 53rd American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting, Atlanta, June 2-6, 2006

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