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Kidney cancer – Novel drug shows promise in advanced disease

Published on February 15, 2020

Background

Scientists report promising activity of the novel an oral first-in-class MK-6482 drug that targets a key driver of clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (ccRCC) in patients with metastatic disease.

In the vast majority of patients with clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), a tumor suppressor protein known as Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is not functional. As a result, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) proteins accumulate inside the tumor cell, wrongly signaling there is a shortage of oxygen and activating the formation of blood vessels, fueling tumor growth.

Understanding this abnormal process has paved the way for new cancer drugs – MK-6482 being one of them and is distinct in that it targets HIF-2a directly leading to blocking cancer cell growth, proliferation and abnormal blood vessel formation.

Results

The study included 55 patients with advanced clear cell kidney cancer who had an average of 3 prior lines of therapies.

  • Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report that 24% of patients had their tumor shrunk given MK-6482 and it was seen in all risk categories – poor, intermediate and good and in a heavily refractory.
  • 56% of patients had their disease stopped from growing and progressing.
  • That brings us to 80% of patients who responded to MK-6482.
  • The median time until progression under the treatment was 11 months.

Adverse Events

MK-6482 was well-tolerated with a favorable safety profile.

The most common adverse events were anemia, fatigue, dyspnea, nausea and cough. No serious drug-related adverse events were observed.

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