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Cediranib Prolongs Survival in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

First oral biologic to delay tumor progression (September 30)

Women with ovarian cancer that has recurred after chemotherapy survived longer after receiving cediranib, a biologic therapy. The results were reported today at the 2013 European Cancer Congress.

Cediranib is an oral inhibitor of a cell-signaling process involved in the formation of tumor blood vessels, essential for tumor growth. It is the first oral inhibitor of its kind to show an improvement in the time before disease progression and in overall survival.

The drug is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) that blocks vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, which control the development of blood vessels required for growing tumors.

Professor Jonathan Ledermann, from University College London, presented the first results from ICON6, a double-blind clinical Phase III trial of cediranib. He reported that in women whose cancer had been treated with platinum-based chemotherapy together with cediranib given during and after the chemotherapy, the time before tumor progression was extended by an average of 3.2 months. Although this might sound like a modest increase, it is considered significant and represents a 30% improvement. Overall survival was also increased by a similar amount, to an average of 2.7 months over a 2-year period of follow-up.

Cediranib is the first oral VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has delayed tumor progression and improved overall survival in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. It was also well tolerated. Adverse events included hypertension, diarrhea, and fatigue.

ICON6 was the first trial in which a benefit was shown with concurrent cediranib and chemotherapy.

[Source: European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), September 30, 2013.]

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