Scientists report promising activity of a novel drug that targets a key molecular driver of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) in patients with metastatic disease.
Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report a response rate of 24 percent across all risk categories of patients given an oral first-in-class agent that targets hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 2-a, which promotes new blood vessel growth that fuels kidney tumors.
Results of treatment with the drug, known as MK-6482, are being presented in an abstract of a phase I/II study at the ASCO 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. Based on these findings, a phase III trial has been launched.
A new drug as a single agent showing an overall response rate of 24 percent across all risk categories – poor, intermediate, and good and in a heavily refractory population – is quite promising." Toni Choueiri, MD, first author of the abstract
Choueiri is director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology and the Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The drug targets a component of the body's mechanism for sensing oxygen levels and turning on genes that enable the body to adjust to hypoxia – a shortage of oxygen – by making more red blood cells and forming new blood vessels. Dana-Farber scientist and Choueiri's mentor and collaborator William G. Kaelin Jr., MD shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine with two other researchers for unraveling this complex mechanism, which can be hijacked by cancer to help tumors survive and grow. Related Stories
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