An article in The New England Journal of Medicine, published January 2007, showed that, compared with placebo, treatment with sorafenib prolongs progression-free survival in patients with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma in whom previous therapy has failed. The median progression-free survival was 5.5 months in the sorafenib group and 2.8 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio for disease progression in the sorafenib group, 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.55; P<0.01). A few reports described patients with stage IV renal cell carcinomas, metastasized to the brain, that were successfully treated with a multimodal approach including neurosurgical, radiation, and sorafenib. This is one of two TGA-labelled indications for sorafenib, although it is not listed on the British Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for this indication.
A phase 3 clinical trial has started recruiting (November 2009) to use sorafenib for non-responsive thyroid cancer. The results were presented at the ASCO 13th Annual Meeting and are the base for FDA approval. The Sorafenib in locally advanced or metastatic patients with radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer: The Phase 3 DECISION trial showed significant improvement in progression-free survival but not in overall survival. However, as is known, the side effects were very frequent, specially hand and foot skin reaction.
A phase 3 clinical trial is under way testing the effectiveness of Sorafenib to treat desmoid tumors (also known as aggressive fibromatosis), after positive results in the first two trial stages. Dosage is typically half of that applied for malignant cancers (400mg vs 800mg). NCI are sponsoring this trial.
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