Treatment for Advanced Liver Cancer Increases Survival
The targeted drug sorafenib (Nexavar) has improved the survival of patients with advanced liver cancer, a fatal disease that is becoming more common worldwide.
The final-stage, randomized study found that patients taking sorafenib lived nearly 3 months longer than patients taking a placebo. This was clinically significant, and the trial was stopped early because preliminary results clearly favored sorafenib. Read more
ASCO 2007: Steady Progress Against Cancer
On June 1-5, Chicago played host to this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. This year set an attendance record with more than 30,000 participants. Throughout the meeting one sensed the excitement of steady, continued progress. There was also anticipation of even greater changes that will occur in the coming years as laboratory science is enabled by new and rapidly evolving technology. The anticipation was clearly about earlier diagnosis, new and reliable biomarkers, highly characterized tumors, and more targeted therapies.
For example, as the lead story in this issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin discusses in greater detail, a phase III European clinical trial found that, compared with placebo, the multitargeted agent sorafenib (Nexavar) improves survival in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). There was a small, but statistically significant, improvement, marking the first time a systemic treatment has proven effective against advanced HCC, a notoriously intractable disease that is increasing in incidence in the U.S. The result clearly sets the stage for further trials testing sorafenib in combination with other targeted agents to treat HCC. Read more