Bayer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Bayer Inc., a world leader in pharmaceuticals and healthcare, announced findings on the phase II trial of Regorafenib, an aggressive kidney cancer medication. The results showed that of all the patients in the trial 81 percent found that the cancer in their metastasized kidneys had either stabilized or regressed as a result of the medication.
The findings are promising for renal cell carcinoma, the most common (about 90%) of all kidney cancers that challenge people in the 50 to 80 year old age group. Renal cell carcinoma affects men more than women.
As with all studies, there are the side effects of the medication. Most of the side effects that came with using Regroafenib were as common as with most medications and included skin rashes, tiredness, anxiety, nausea and vomiting. Leading factors that can lead to kidney cancer increase with certain lifestyle habits such as smoking, having high blood pressure and being overweight.
The trial for Regorafenib consisted of 49 patients that have not yet been treated for their renal cell carcinoma. The kidneys were either metastasized or they were not able to have them re-sected. The cancer in half of the patients was said to be stabilized as a result of the medication, while 15 actually showed improvement. The study followed the patients for a span of 8 months after the actual treatment and there were no signs of further progression of the disease. After that 25 patients stayed within the treatment and 80 percent continued to show improvement.
This entire study has shown the potential for further improvements and Bayer is hopeful to market Regorafenib as the first treatment for patients with renal cell carcinoma. While some patients do have surgical options if their renal cancer is caught early, too many times kidney removal or dialysis is the only solution.
Renal cell carcinoma develops in the lining of the small cells of the nephrons in the kidneys. The small cells are hard to detect in an ultrasound or CT scan as it is nearly impossible to see if the cells are all the way through the lining or encapsulated on the outside. Sometimes removal of the kidney after the carcinoma has metastasized can show that a re-section of the kidney could have been more effective.
Treatments of dialysis last for the rest of the patient’s life, and are costly. Bayer is hoping to capture a new market that will save and /or extend many lives with its Regorafenib. The company hopes to be a primary treatment before sectioning or dialysis has to be administered.
With the preliminary success from this stage II finding, it does look promising. As with any medications in the pharmaceutical industry, this is just the beginning and getting Regorafenib into the market can not be too soon. The benefits of using this new medication over surgery can save the healthcare industry millions if not billions, as well as extending the lives of many patients that are affected by renal cell carcinoma.