Monday, April 28, 2008

New cancer therapy being market tested for gliobastoma?

Glioblastoma multiforme is by far the most common and most malignant of the glial tumors, yet prognosis remains poor. Less than 5% of patients survive 5 years after diagnosis.

Preliminary data was recently reported at a cancer conference on an investigational compound has shown promise in prolonging survival among patients with recurrent glioblastoma. This compound, cediranib, was found to positively influence the outcome of the trial. The lead author, Dr. Batchelor (Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston), said that the primary outcome of this phase II study, a standard metric in this disease, is the proportion of patients who are alive without disease progression at 6 months, "Our percentage was 25.8%, and this compares favorably with historic controls, which are about 15%." The study cohort consisted of 31 patients with glioblastoma who had failed previous therapy with radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy.

Cediranib (AZD2171), from AstraZeneca, is an oral potent panvascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It is a selective VEGF-signaling inhibitor that targets all 3 VEGF receptors.

AZD2171 has a half-life of 20 hours, which makes it compatible with once-daily dosing, and its primary target, VEGFR2, is expressed on glioblastoma endothelium. The researchers have observed the normalization of tumor vessels in patients with recurrent glioblastoma who received AZD2171 on a daily basis.

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