Kidney Cancer Takes a Direct Hit

Radioimmunotherapy disrupted by Nexavar

(RxWiki News) Treating cancer generally includes a mixture of therapies: surgery, radiation and some sort of drug therapy. Care needs to be taken that these elements don't interfere with one another.

An anticancer drug known as Nexavar (sorafenib) apparently hampers the effectiveness of a new type of radioimmunotherapy being used to treat resistant kidney cancer.

"Ask about drug interactions with any medication."

A small Dutch study investigated a therapy that uses an agent to zero in on clear cell renal carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer. This method uses the agent to find the tumor and then kills the cancer by pounding it directly with radiation.

"This research has important implications for future therapeutic regimens for patients with clear cell renal carcinoma," said lead study physician, Stijn Muselaers, MD, from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The radioimmunotherapy in this study is called radiolabeled monoclonal antibody girentuximab, or In-111-cG250.

Investigators looked at the impact of widely used medications known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) -- such as Nexavar -- on this method which uses In-111-cG250 to seek out and find tumors.

TKIs are used to treat a number of types of cancer. They work by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells.

For this study, researchers worked with 15 patients with kidney cancer who were scheduled to have surgery. Of these participants, 13 individuals had clear cell renal carcinoma, and 10 had been treated with the TKI, Nexavar.

Researchers found that the ability of the In-111-cG250 to target tumors was "remarkably lower" in patients who had received sorafenib, and thus believe this type of radioimmunotherapy should take place before patients are treated with TKIs.

The results of this study were discussed at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 2012 Annual Meeting.

Research discussed at conferences is considered preliminary before it's published in a peer-reviewed journal.