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News

Study: 'BAY drug' helps kidney cancer patients

University Of Chicago : 29 September, 2006  (Technical Article)
Each year, about 36,000 people in the United states will be told they have kidney cancer. One-third of them will die. Researchers are now taking a look at a new treatment for patients in whom kidney cancer has spread.
Donald Jeffers was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 1981. His kidney was removed, but the cancer came back.

He has tried several treatments, including a drug originally tested for colon cancer. 'We took a little bit of a broader view and said, 'well, yes, this might be important in colon cancer, but let's take a look in other cancers as well,'' explained University of Chicago Medical Center oncologist Dr. Walter Stadler.

That proved to be a monumental step.

The drug, which researchers call the 'BAY drug' (shorthand for its technical name, BAY-43-9006), inhibits cancer cell growth and cuts off blood supply to the tumor. It did not work for colon cancer.

'Surprisingly, we found that the patients with metastatic kidney cancer were experiencing tumor shrinkages,' Dr. Stadler said. Forty-two percent of their tumors shrank and 26 percent of the tumors stabilized.

With standard care, fewer than 15 percent of patients are helped.

'I think this is one of the most exciting things, I think, that has been happening in kidney cancer,' Dr. Stadler said.

After starting the drug treatment, Donald Jeffers' tumor shrank in half.

'It was a great feeling,' Jeffers said. 'It's saying something worked. My outlook is better now than it probably was eight years ago.'

The treatment is given in just two pills a day and does not have significant or serious side effects. A larger study of 800 patients began in October.
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