Combination Therapy for Advanced Melanoma
Name of the Trial
Why Is This Trial Important?
In this clinical trial, researchers are testing chemotherapy with the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel in combination with a new drug called sorafenib (BAY 43-9006). Sorafenib works by blocking the activity of proteins important for cell proliferation and for generating new blood vessels to tumors (angiogenesis). Many melanoma tumors carry a mutation in a gene called B-RAF, which in turn produces a protein called Raf kinase. This protein facilitates cellular processes that lead to tumor cell proliferation and survival. Sorafenib blocks the Raf kinase protein and interrupts these processes. It also inhibits a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), which helps tumors grow the blood vessels needed for nourishment. Researchers hope that sorafenib will weaken melanoma tumors and enhance the cell-killing effects of chemotherapy.
"No therapy has yet produced a clear survival benefit for patients with advanced melanoma," said Dr. Flaherty. "Because of the dual nature of sorafenib's activity and the results we have seen with this combination in an earlier study, we believe this therapy is the most promising so far for prolonging survival of these patients."
Who Can Join This Trial?
Where Is This Trial Taking Place?
An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/ft-all-featured-trials.