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Sequence of Treatments May Induce Clinical Response in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., March 13, 2008 — Several recently approved agents offer promising treatment possibilities for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and the order in which these agents are administered may positively impact clinical response, according to a presentation given during the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 13th Annual Conference: Clinical Practice Guidelines & Quality Cancer Care™.

Until recently, there were very few agents to treat RCC and those available caused significant side effects. With the approval of agents such as sunitinib, sorafenib, temsirolimus and eventually bevacizumab, patients now have more treatment options, according to Roberto Pili, MD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Urology at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.

Researchers have observed that some patients continue to demonstrate clinical benefit when they are given these drugs in sequences despite the common biological target of these treatments. While no magic combination has yet been codified, researchers hope to determine optimal sequences and combinations of drugs to maximize patient survival.

“We can envision several combination strategies to treat kidney cancer patients,” Dr. Pili said. In addition, “There are several drugs and agents still in development for the treatment of kidney cancer that potentially may offer some promise.” Dr. Pili suggested that combination and sequence strategies may also soon include agents like the pan VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors axitinib and pazopanib, both of which are currently being studied in ongoing clinical trials.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital