NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 29, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 9 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Clinical TrialFeatured Clinical Trial

Cediranib for Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer

Name of the Trial
Phase II Study of AZD2171 in Patients with Metastatic Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer (NCI-07-C-0059). See the protocol summary at

Principal Investigators
Dr. William Dahut and Dr. William Figg (Protocol Chair), NCI Center for Cancer Research

Why This Trial Is Important
Advanced prostate cancer is often dependent upon male hormones (androgens) for continued growth and may initially respond to anti-androgen therapy. Unfortunately, prostate cancer growth ultimately becomes androgen-independent. Treatment with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel may help men with androgen-independent prostate cancer survive longer, but, if the cancer becomes resistant to docetaxel, there currently are no other proven effective treatment options.

One strategy being tested for treating metastatic, androgen-independent prostate cancer is to block the blood supply that feeds the tumors. A large body of research indicates that solid tumors need to develop new blood vessels (a process called tumor angiogenesis) in order to keep growing and that attacking the tumor blood supply may inhibit further growth and spread. Some studies suggest that metastatic prostate cancer may be especially dependent on tumor angiogenesis.

A drug called cediranib blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that plays a crucial role in tumor angiogenesis, by attaching to VEGF receptors on cancer cells. Cediranib treatment, therefore, may be able to block prostate tumor angiogenesis and inhibit prostate tumor growth.

In this trial, men with metastatic, androgen-independent prostate cancer whose cancer has continued to progress on docetaxel will take oral cediranib daily. Treatment will continue for those patients whose tumors do not progress and who do not suffer unacceptable side effects. Doctors want to see if cediranib can help delay the progression of cancer in these patients.

"There are a number of drugs that block the action of VEGF being tested in metastatic, androgen-independent prostate cancer, but each drug works differently," said Dr. Dahut. "Cediranib looks to be a promising agent because it blocks more VEGF receptors than other drugs in the class, potentially making it a more effective inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis."

For More Information
See the list of eligibility criteria and contact information at or call the NCI Clinical Trials Referral Office at 1-888-NCI-1937. The call is toll free and confidential.

An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at