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Sunitinib useful in lung cancer -- study

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http://www.upi.com/HealthBusiness/view. ... 1439-9412r

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- A phase 2 trial of Pfizer's sunitinib malate shows the drug is effective against advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Lead author Mark Socinski of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center presented the trial's findings on June 4 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Atlanta.

Sunitinib malate is an oral anti-angiogenic agent that keeps tumors from growing new blood vessels by inhibiting the action of tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that promotes cellular growth.

Between January and October 2005 it was given to 63 patients with NSCLC at medical centers around the United States, Italy and Spain at a dose of 50 mg/day for four weeks, followed by two weeks off the drug.

All the participants had advanced disease that had continued to grow in spite of several different courses of chemotherapy. Six patients had partial responses and 27 patients achieved stable disease, but data on length of survival is still pending, researchers said.

Adverse effects included fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and high blood pressure. Two patients developed hemorrhages in their lungs and one had a cerebral hemorrhage.

Currently, an extension of the trial involving 47 patients is exploring the effects of a continuous dose of the drug at 37.5 mg/day.

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