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Reuters Health Information (2004-09-29): New agent shows action against liver tumours

Drug & Device Development

New agent shows action against liver tumours

Last Updated: 2004-09-29 16:25:23 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A drug developed by Bayer AG and Onyx Pharmaceuticals caused regression of tumours in some liver cancer patients in a mid-stage trial and stabilised the disease, the companies said on Wednesday.

The agent, BAY 43-9006, shrank liver cancer tumours in 9% of patients and stabilised the disease of 43% for at least four months, according to data presented at a cancer research conference in Switzerland.

Of the 137 patients with advanced liver cancer, seven patients had their tumours shrink by 50% or more, and five had tumours shrink by 25% to 50%. In 59 patients, stabilisation of their disease for at least four months was their best response.

The median overall survival of patients in the trial was 9.2 months.

Investigator Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa noted that "the results are definitely promising but the drug needs further testing, possibly in combination with another chemotherapeutic or biologic drug."

He added, that the drug was very tolerable, causing only mild side effects such as fatigue and diarrhoea.

The findings were presented at the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, sponsored by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the American Association for Cancer Research.

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